I just need to come straight out with it – The Crossing in Barnes is absolutely FABULOUS. I’ve popped in before and really enjoyed my time, but its latest chef seems to have elevated the cooking here, making for an extremely delightful, Italian-influenced menu. Nestled away on the quiet back streets of Barnes, this pub is surely serving up the best food in the area right now.
Independently owned, The Crossing is a true neighborhood pub with gorgeous interiors, a sun-drenched garden terrace, and superb staff. It still feels like a pub with locals enjoying a pint or three, but it also feels like a proper restaurant, serving up grownup food, cocktails, and a solid wine list. Whilst we perused over the menu, we tucked into a couple of those delicious and punchy cocktails.
Led by head chef Riccardo Rizzo, the menu here definitely has a nod to Italy, but with some good old classics to warm the cockles all whilst utilising the best seasonal ingredients. To kick off our meal we tucked into some of their starters. We really couldn’t pick just one favourite, but you must order the cauliflower croquettes because they are like eating fluffy, warm, delicious clouds of goodness with a cauliflower cheese style filling.
The charcuterie board here is SO good, even the toasted sourdough on it is a joy. Packed to the brim with Finocchiona salami & Cobble Lane Pork coppa and cornichons, this would be a great little partner to a pint of beer in the sunshine.
If you’re extra peckish, order another pint and their burrata because it’s some of the finest I’ve tried in London.
It gets better still, honestly. No doubt packed with a million calories, their rigatoni cacio e pepe is the stuff of dreams. The pasta cooked the perfect side of al dente and with enough cheese to scare your arteries – this may well become the dish that has locals coming back for more.
For mains, I ordered the grass-fed flat iron steak. With the best homemade chips cooked in duck fat and served with a little kale – the rich and glossy jus smothered over it all really makes this dish for me a real standout and one I’d love to have again. The meat is of course, perfectly cooked, packed with flavour and with a nice crispy char on the outside.
The big surprise for me was the pearl barley. When I’m trying to be a little healthier or want something lighter, I always give this a go but time after time it’s poorly cooked, lacking in flavour, and quite frankly – a little dull. Well, not here. Instead, it’s juicy and full of texture and with its added ingredients – absolutely packed with flavour.
To finish, heavenly desserts. Perhaps not the time of year for it – but I’ll always find an excuse to tuck into a sticky toffee pudding – especially when they’re this good. Rich, decadent, luscious – I’ve run out of descriptors. With a scoop of clotted cream ice cream to melt over the top – this is the time when you need an espresso martini or a glass of something sweet to wash it down.
For something more summery, order the panna cotta with lavender, strawberries and biscuit crumb. I’ve never really been the biggest fan of this pudding, with its wet, wobbly texture – but this was slightly firmer in texture (more posset-like), but just as wobbly. I loved the hints of lavender and the sweet strawberries complimented it beautifully.
Having previously lived in Barnes, I’ve always loved coming back and I think I’ve found yet another reason not to leave it so long. Chef Riccardo Rizzo really is an asset to the kitchen here at The Crossing and is serving up some stellar food right now in what is a gorgeous little pub. Would we come back? Absolutely.