44 Old Street, London EC1V 9AQ
Marian Beke is a one-off and The Gibson on London’s Old Street – a small Art Deco-esque space in an Edwardian listed building – his latest parlour of invention. The drinks here are at the edges of plausibility. They all feature vinegar, drawing on the bar’s namesake classic cocktail. The glasses and garnishes that sprout out of them are something to behold – baroque, perhaps; kitsch, possibly; outrageous, definitely.
How these umpteen-ingredient drinks are constructed in such a small space or how they have upped their food game to include an excellent beef tartare is anyone’s guess. But at The Gibson, you’re not supposed to understand. Rum cocktail The Transcendentalist is an exemplar of the kind of potions on the new calendar menu. Featuring a dozen components, it’s best not to compute what it tastes like. Just get comfortable at the bar and watch ex-Nightjar head bartenders Beke and Martina Brezňanová do their thing – it’s one of the best shows in town.