LDNReview

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Levan image
8.7

Levan

Modern European

Peckham

$$$$Perfect For:Catching Up With MatesDate NightDay DrinkingDining SoloDinner with the ParentsDrinking Good WineFirst/Early in the Game Dates
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Levan is a good times spot in Peckham that serves lunch and dinner with a side of ‘welcome to your week off’. There’s the midnight blue walls, the open kitchen, records stacked haphazardly between bottles of natural wine, and seasonal European sharing plates that you’ll lick clean. Whether you come here for an accidental four-hour dinner, to escape the office for a Jenga-style stack of comté fries, or for a glass of wine mid-afternoon, this place is the easy vacation that every Londoner needs in their arsenal. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re about to have a good time.

For starters, the food here tastes how stepping off a plane into the sunshine feels. A few bites of your burrata with pear and mustard seeds and you’re awake. You’re excited. You’re suddenly in the mood for a bottle of wine. Which is good, because wine is one of the things this place does really well. Their ‘list’ is more of a book that’s divided into helpful sections like ‘white, savoury, salty’ or our personal favourite, ‘white, wild, alive’. Then each individual glass of wine has its own little bio. No, not ‘a brave yet bashful grape with a PH to match’. It’s more: ‘A hint of floral. Quaffable and excellent with food’. Basically, you can come here, know fuck all about wine, and still act like a boss. Or, you could be the owner of six vineyards with a monthly subscription to Wine Enthusiast and have a great time chatting trousseau with your waiter. Because the staff here really know their stuff.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Levan image
Levan image
Levan image

When it comes to making your way through the menu, the servers are your locals who’ve made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. “Nah, you don’t need the steamed greens, the purple sprouting broccoli, and the mushroom tempura if you’re getting the short rib. I’d lose the broccoli”’. Levan might be serious about their food but it’s still a very laid-back spot. And all the while in the background of your conversations, there are the kind of playlists floating out the speakers that we aspire to make for our dinner parties.

When it comes to who you should bring to Levan, the holiday rules apply. This is somewhere you bring friends, family, and loved ones who would never have the audacity to say “Wow, another bottle of white on a Wednesday night?”. People you’re comfortable enough with so that you can properly sink into that feeling of relaxation. The only exception is dates. Sitting at the counter on a first date is a serious power move. You’re armed with the fun buzz of the kitchen, some boudin noir on your fork, and your new wingman, Levan’s book of wine. Go ahead, use it.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Our only warning about Levan is that it’s a hard place to leave. Every time we’ve been, we’ve stayed longer than we intended. One glass becomes two bottles. Some duck rillettes and caramelised celeriac ravioli turns into a three-hour session with some short rib and two desserts. It’s a bubble where being stressed gets replaced by a sharp kick of serotonin, and being tipsy at 2pm on a weekday is absolutely fine.

Food Rundown

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Comté Fries, Saffron Aioli

Fried potato, cheese, additional cheese, and some banging aioli. You do the math.

Duck Rillettes And Cornichons

Sure, this doesn’t necessarily look like the most appetising dish. Don’t let appearances fool you. This is excellent.

Jambon De Bayonne

If you’re just stopping by Levan for a glass of wine, this is what you should order so that your Arbois doesn’t get lonely.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Boudin Noir, Caramelised Endive, Cured Egg Yolk

If there was a planet where the only thing to drink was wine, well, we’d like to go there. But only if this would also be the bread and butter necessity dish of that planet.

Burrata, Pear, Mustard Seeds, Jerusalem Artichoke

Sometimes it feels like restaurants add a bunch of things to burrata because they’ve got a herb budget and they’re not afraid to use it. Not here. Everything in this dish tastes necessary. It’s a must-order.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Caramelised Celeriac Ravioli, Parsnip, Nori, Dashi Butter

One bite and this ravioli basically stands up on the table and starts shouting, "That’s right, I’m a celeriac ravioli and I’m fantastic", before starting to slow dance in the dashi butter. This is very tasty. The kind of tasty that makes you picture ravioli dancing.

Levan image

photo credit: Matt Russell

Potato, Wild Mushroom, And Vacherin Pie

The food at Levan sets a high bar. So even though we didn’t love this pie, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It just wasn’t as good as some of the other dishes. Very decent pastry but we’d aim for something else.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Belted Galloway Short Rib, Carrot, Miso, Shiitake

Is it normal to write a love letter to some short rib? Asking for a friend. In all seriousness, this is the best short rib we’ve had, whilst the carrot and miso keeps it feeling fresh.

Levan image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Apple Tarte Tatin, Crème Fraîche

Sunglasses on. The glaze on this tarte shines like the top of a Shard on one of London’s six annual days of good weather. It’s the kind of light, flaky dessert that you’ll manage to fit in even after eight savoury small plates.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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