Top Cuvée, a wine bar and restaurant that recently opened in Finsbury Park, is pretty much the perfect neighbourhood restaurant. It’s got relatively simple but very well executed dishes at reasonable prices; it’s got an interesting wine list with some excellent natural, biodynamic wines; and it’s got very friendly service by genuinely welcoming people with not a hint of ego – an all too common problem in other wine bars round these parts.

The Top Cuvée team consists of Brodie Meah (who worked at Dinner by Heston when it moved to Melbourne) and Max and Noel Venning of Three Sheets cocktail bar, plus Dan Miller in the kitchen, who previously worked at Naughty Piglets.

On the food front first of all, we can definitely recommend sharing a few dishes, beginning with the croquettes; hot crispy spheres stuffed with sweet potato and sage. The burrata with pickled carrots and hazelnuts is another winner but the must order of the smaller plates has to be the beef and smoked eel tartare with wild garlic – may not sound like an obvious combo but man does it work.

Fresh British asparagus was served with bitter cime di rape, wild garlic and beurre noisette and a slab of dark meaty beef short rib came topped with crispy XO sauce, pungent with the taste of salty shrimp. A peanut butter parfait with a whisky and miso caramel was an excellent way to finish the whole thing off.

If you live in the area we think this is definitely one for you to check out – you really couldn’t ask to have more from your neighbourhood local.

177a-177b Blackstock Road, London, N5 2LL