The Hero of Maida, which opened yesterday (14 May), aims to pair British seasonality with provincial French cooking, with menus changing daily in the manner of a French bistro.
Chef director and overseeing the kitchen is Henry Harris (formerly of Racine in Knightsbridge, west London).
Steve Collins, formerly of Les Deux Salons and Bellanger, is head chef, and Thomas Blythe (from St John, St John Bread and Wine) is general manager.
The Hero of Maida is part of the newly-created Harcourt Inns collection of pubs. The company’s intention is to rescue noteworthy sites and conserve them as destinations serving quality food in laidback surroundings.
The Maida Vale venue follows the Coach in Clerkenwell, central London, which opened earlier this year, and the Three Cranes, which opened in the City in winter 2017.
Starters at the pub run from signature calves brains with black butter and capers, to asparagus and crab vinaigrette.
Mains feature classics such as cuttlefish ratatouille; pan roast chicken with braised lettuce, morels and peas; as well as a Cheltenham beetroot and shallot tart, served with rocket and horseradish cream.
Desserts include crème caramel alongside springtime specials such as lemon posset and blueberry trifle.
The pub also has a selection of specials, including baked cheese, onion and bacon tart; sausage rolls and charcuterie plates, which sit alongside larger dishes such as fish soup with rouille, gruyere and croutons, crisp salade bon santé; and chicken paillarde served with salad.
Strong drinks offer
The Hero of Maida will reinstate its Sunday roast menu and the likes of a seven-hour slow-roasted shoulder of lamb and rosemary will be served.
When it comes to drinks, independent beers from family-run breweries are being served from behind a zinc-topped bar alongside wines that Harris and the team enjoy drinking with the aim of balancing familiar Old World names with up-and-coming vineyards. Grower Champagnes from independent vineyards are also available.
In the dining rooms of the pub, the drinks list continues to focus on Old World wines, from Beaujolais to Rioja and Chianti, as well as cocktails including London Negronis, Old Fashioneds, Bloody Marys, aperitifs and digestifs such as Calvados and Armagnac.
A spacious ground floor bar has comfortable leather banquettes lining the walls and antique mirrors and artwork brings a laidback elegance to the space.
The first floor upstairs dining room features ceiling roses, aiming to invoke old-school glamour, counterbalanced by splashes of colour, eclectic art and an art deco-inspired chandelier.