palate cleanser

Authentique Epicerie

Earlier in 2018, Authentique Epicerie opened in Tufnell Park – the next natural step in the gradual croissantification of the Northern Line. As its name suggests, Authentique Epicerie is partly a grocery store. There is some excellent artisanal French produce here, from wedges of Comté to jars of foie gras. There is also a fabulous wine selection giving established chains like Nicolas a run for their money. Their offering here is firmly rooted in the classics – I spied some excellent Pauillacs at a reasonable mark-up – but perhaps lacking natural wines or anything more outré. It is also a casual dining and drinking destination in its own right. In many ways, the four young French owners have hit the nail on the head with their concept.

Cheese and Charcuterie

After a saunter around the shop, my colleague and I sat at the bar for a bite to eat. You can also drink any of the wines on the shelves for a small corkage (reminding me of one of my favourite wine bars in Paris, 5eme Cru). We enjoyed the smoked haddock brandade with poached egg – a simple and comforting dish – and then the mixed cheese and charcuterie board, washed down with a young but serviceable Cotes du Rhone (Poignée de Raisins 2016). The bread was continually replenished, as is the French way. Bordeaux-style canelés rounded things off nicely as we paid the reasonable bill at the end (roughly around £35 each).

The staff are self-assured, friendly and also seem somewhat unfussed by Brexit (“if the shit hits the fan I can just go to another EU country,” said the French waiter serving us, “it’s you guys I’m worried about”). Well, quite.

It’s rare for me to become so besotted with a place but Authentique Epicerie has it all… just about. My only issue is their lack of coffee which I understand might be rectified soon. With the introduction of regular wine tasting sessions, special guest chef nights and live music evenings, they are clearly ambitious but I have high hopes for Authentique Epicerie. The residents of Tufnell Park are certainly lucky to have this gem on their doorstep.

See further:

Authentique Epicerie
114a-116 Fortess Road


You Might Also Like