When a new arrival comes to Marylebone, we tend to get pretty excited. Especially when there is food involved. And Ergon is no exception.
The newly launched Greek restaurant-come-deli calls Marylebone’s Picton Place home – the small street connecting Duke Street and James Street, just next to Selfridges. When I received an email inviting me to a tasting event at Ergon, I have to be honest – the address had me a little worried. This bustling little patch of Marylebone is home to many a place to eat, but that often rely on a steady flow of Oxford Street tourists and shoppers to fill their tables – not loyal ever returning customers that you would hope every restaurant aims for. From everything I’d heard, I arrived outside Ergon on a rainy December evening hoping that it would break the mould.
The restaurant feels warm and cosy inside, with a friendly atmosphere that was eventually going to infiltrate all aspects of the evening. Downstairs in the deli the walls are lined with Ergon’s products – there are thousands of them, sourced from the finest suppliers from all over Greece.
As we sat around a long communal table, plate after plate arrived and was placed in front of us. The sharing of food is a huge part of Greek culture and we were to do the same – an element which just added to the already intimate environment and one for which I really enjoyed. It’s fair to say we were treated to a complete feast.
Along the way we were tried everything from slow roasted lamb to beef moussaka, including: roasted eggplant, Dakos salad, staka cream with eggs, grilled squid, homemade sausage and a selection of cured seafoods and spreads.
A highlight for me was the ‘Gruyere from Naxos’ – an amazing piece of gruyere covered in a sweet syrup with carob flour, oat flakes and rose petals along with two of the desserts that I only just had room for – the ‘Greek Coffee Cheesecake’ and the ‘Greek Yogurt Mousse’ both left me wanting more.
The restaurant is the brainchild of two brothers – Thomas and Giorgos Douzis. What surprised me the most and will stay with me is that this is in fact the seventh Ergon the two entrepreneurial brothers have opened – the other 6 are all in Greece. The first 6 outlets have all been opened since 2011 – during a time when we all know the Greek economy hasn’t exactly been thriving. In addition to this the menu (created by Dimitris Skarmoutsos – ‘Greece’s Jamie Oliver’) is also the same as what is being served in the outlets in Greece. For me this said a lot about the authenticity of Ergon – if the concept has taken off in Greece, the food really must be good.
And in summary – it really was good. But the great tasting food was only the start – the atmosphere, emphasis on sharing, friendly faces and clear passion for food finished off the experience. I’m definitely going back – and with a special £12 two course lunch menu, there really is no excuse.
16 Picton Place
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Phone: 020 7486 9210