It’s nice when something surprises you, and a Scottish / Spanish collab was a first for us. Following the success of their two other London restaurants, Bar Esteban in Crouch End and Esocesa in Stoke Newington, Maresco’s Glaswegian entrepreneur Stephen Lironi (who was previously a record producer in Hollywood) uses Scottish seafood to make innovative Spanish tapas, and it works.
This is a small, corner spot on Berwick and Noel Street, that really makes the most of its space. A counter wraps around the entire top floor – choose stools that face either the street or the kitchen – and settle in for a culinary tour of Spanish tapas hits.
The Food and Drink
Using fresh seafood deliveries from Shetland, their menu highlights dishes from all over Spain – mackerel and monkfish sausages from the Basque region, and mini calamari bocadillos that you might find in the tapas bars of Rioja or San Sebastian –but they’ve elevated them here, both in presentation and in method. Highlights include their patatas bravas, which are more like ‘mounds’ of mini semi-smashed potatoes; the black rice with halibut; the charcoal leeks; and their desserts: creamy Basque cheesecake, moist almond tart (Tarta de Santiago), crema catalana with ice cream; and their daily specials. Their wines are a definite highlight, which again are sourced from all over Spain, with several interesting pours by the glass.
The staff! You can tell they love what they do, and are happy to help with any recommendations – wine, food, dessert. They seemed to be largely Spanish, and extremely well-versed.