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Three newcomers in May that do sharing plates

By Adam Bloodworth

'Tis the season for rooftop bar openings – but with sun hardly guaranteed you're better off heading to one of these three hot new indoor openings and ordering all of the serving plates instead. It's all about sharing these days. What began in convivial Italian restaurants like Polpo is now the order of the day - so get down to these places pronto, or risk going to places that opened LAST month. You have been warned.

Fox on the Green, Islington  

Serving the local community since 1872, this Islington pub has just reopened, with a new contemporary makeover. While traditional cask ales and British pub food return to the menu, small plates of tapas and a ‘burgers and burritos’ section tell a more modern tale. The refurb is all thanks to the Stonegate Pub Company, who ploughed £250,000 into the pub. Most importantly, there's a stonking weekday happy hour (5pm-8pm) with all cocktails 2-for-1. 1 Islington Green, Islington, N1 2XH

Cielo Blanco

Cielo Blanco, Exmouth Market

Exmouth Market’s intimate vibe feels lifted straight from a rom-com. The area is full of hot new openings, many of which spill onto the pedestrianised street – and the likes of Coin Laundry, with its novel '70s theme, get a lot of our hard-earned cash. But newest to the area is Cielo Blanco, with colourful Mexican food and some strong tequila cocktails. Based on the informal streetfood of Oaxaca, the menu is split into ‘fresh and fast’ and sharing boards, cooked in the traditional barbacoa (barbecue) style. Don’t miss the outdoor-reared belly pork with cumin crackling. Save Cielo Blanco for an afternoon’s grazing, followed by a trip to nearby Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, and Smithfield pub favourite St Bart’s Brewery55-57 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL

Gotto Trattoria, Hackney Wick

When a press release about an opening says 'postcode may not yet be active on Google', you just know it's in Hackney Wick. Next up for London's sat-nav intolerant neighbourhood is simple Italian restaurant Gotto Trattoria, which will soft launch on May 16. Gotto offers sharing plates informally, from a seasonal, weekly-changing menu of Italian classics led by British ingredients. Plus, homemade vermouth will be on tap. The look will be kept equally simple with plain wooden furniture, only offset by a big graffiti mural on the wall. Well, it is Hackney Wick after all.  

For more new openings, check out our latest restaurant reviews.


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