London's Brawn Diner

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Courtesy of Brawn

Meaty stuff Brawn caters to the new vogue for charcuterie

Brawn may be its name, but it's not just aficionados of the classic pig's-head terrine who are hotfooting it to this diner in London's hip Bethnal Green. It's everyone who appreciates what's au courant on the London culinary scene: plates for sharing, the revived art of charcuterie and biodynamic wines. Book well ahead if planning a Sunday visit. The local flower market will be in full bloom, the quirky design boutiques will be doing brisk business, and hipsters from near and far will be crowding Brawn's open brickwork interior.

Chef and co-owner Ed Wilson and wine importers Les Caves de Pyrene first hit the London scene with Terroirs in Charing Cross. It served small dishes of French and Basque cuisine, accompanied by wines made with wild yeasts, no additives and minimum intervention. They were mostly unfiltered, too, with their cloudiness considered the ultimate expression of the artisan vigneron.

Terroirs is echoed in Brawn's menu and extensive, explicitly annotated wine list. A "taste tickler" of zingy radishes with pungent anchoïade (garlic-and-anchovy paste) is perfect for mulling over your choices, which should include the superlative and feisty Tuscan beef tartare with rosemary and anchovies. Plancha pickings change daily and, if you're lucky, will include quail with romesco sauce — so tasty it demands finishing with the fingers.

Dinner for two, with wine, is around $120. See for more.

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