We will travel anywhere for good food, but it’s not often we find ourselves in leafy Barnes, a long way from our local haunts of North East London. Anthony Demetre, the chef behind the now closed Arbutus and the newly Michelin-starred Wild Honey 2.0, is one chef we are very happy to travel for, however, and we recently made the journey to The Crossing in Barnes, where Anthony has consulted on the menu.
The pub (formerly known as The Tree House) was recently refurbished by new owner Christian Arden, who bought Anthony on to work on the menu alongside head chef Alessandro Carulli. We didn’t know the pub in its previous incarnation, but The Crossing certainly feels bright and fresh, with a main ground floor bar, plus an upstairs more formal dining room.
We went by on a Sunday after a long walk in Richmond Park to work up an appetite. There’s some crossover with the dishes that feature on the main menu during the week, plus of course the addition of Sunday roasts. But first a drink (we deserved it) and The Crossing has a great wine list, a cut above what you’d usually find in a pub. We can especially recommend the English fizz, sparkling rose brut from Ambriel in West Sussex, and the Château Penin Merlot for your roast beef (if that’s what you’re having).
From the starters, we went for the cauliflower cheese croquetas and the fresh macaroni with confit duck ragu, n’duja, and parmesan – that’s a lot of things we love on one plate. Note: you can also get this as a main course size. Then came the roasts. For one of us a 48 day-aged beef sirloin, and the other a porchetta, which we were very happy to see as we hadn’t spotted this on the menu we’d snooped on online. Both came with roasted carrots, cabbage, gravy, Yorkshire pudding and – controversially – pommes anna. Purists may balk at the sidelining of roast potatoes, but we thought it actually made a nice change and pommes anna surely isn’t too far behind in the potato dish league table.
Having been big fans of Arbutus when it was open, we were buzzing to see an Arbutus classic – chocolate soup – on the dessert menu and had to order it. A real treat and a perfect way to end the meal and the week.
If you live in or near Barnes, then lucky you. And for the rest of us, a Sunday spent in Richmond park followed by The Crossing is definitely a day out we can recommend.