Right now in Hackney, a chef and a wine company are serving up a pleasingly retro style dinner with warming platefuls of classic French country food. The event, Cassoulet Nights, created by wine company Quite Nice Wines with chef Jacob Rosen, features some fun retro classics, and there’s even a dessert trolley. 

Chef Jacob Rosen formerly worked at Pitt Cue, the currently City-based enterprise known for its carnivore-pleasing dishes where fat-rich (and therefore super-tasty) mangalitza  pork and butter-tender Dexter beef are stars of the menu. No wonder wondrously meaty Cassoulet appeals to his creative side (note: there is an equally delicious vegetarian menu too). 

Cassoulet nights pop up
Giulio, Neil and Jacob (centre) get ready to serve

I asked Jacob how this all came about: “Neil and Giulio of Quite Nice Wines and I met in Lyon earlier this year,” he explains. “They had just been given the opportunity to take on a lovely space on Hackney Road. We discussed how we could best use it, given its short time frame, and decided to recreate some of the essence of the French bouchons and bistros we were frequenting in the area.”

Neil brings a wealth of knowledge of small, low-intervention regional French wines and has adeptly paired a selection with the distinctly old-school, French classic dishes. There’s the four-course menu at £35 (either cassoulet or vegetarian options), plus an a la carte selection too. You are also welcome to pop in for drinks and snacks. There’s a faithful backbar (think Suze, Lillet and Armagnac), and it’s all served in a lovely environment, skilfully put together by the team, with attentive personal service.  It is also proving to be lots of fun.

Like all good pop-ups, the venture will come to an end. As it’s having a successful run, the team may be able to wrangle a couple more weeks of existence – STOP PRESS: Cassoulet Nights will now run through November – check with the Cassoulet Nights team for details. Best to book your table now at Cassoulet Nights



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