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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs Clerkenwell

Time Out says

It’s not often that you’ll get a table and the undivided attention of the bar staff here. Its shabby chic vibe (‘vintage’ wallpaper, scruffy sofas, huge plate-glass windows) attracts a young, arty, professional crowd, and decent drinks and fabulous food mean it’s usually packed. On a big football night, however, it was deserted (no Sky Sports), but who needs company when the food is this good? Starters included perfectly soft pillows of own-made gnocchi smothered in creamy asparagus and pesto sauce, and two juicy scallops with orange coral in a wonderfully garlicky rocket salsa verde. Mains too were delectable: ox cheek in a mustard crumb was as sticky and unctuous as it should be (we made a makeshift doggy bag for what couldn’t be finished). It came on a bed of endive, beetroot and subtle horseradish cream; a ‘Will it be enough?’ side of mash was unnecessary – but so delicious and creamy we almost took that home too. Pancetta-wrapped chicken breast, bone in, was pan-fried and served with crispy rosemary potatoes in a wonderfully flavourful gravy. The quality of the food and cooking is unquestionably high and though we’ve read of service gripes, our waitress was enchanting (though she did forget the wine). There was no question of dessert, but the Easton mess with strawberries was tempting. Roll on the World Cup, we say…



Address: 22 Easton Street
Transport: Tube: Farringdon tube/rail
Price: Main courses £8-£16.
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-1am Fri; 10am-midnight Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Lunch served 12.30-3pm Mon-Fri; noon-3.30pm Sat; 1-4pm Sun. Dinner served 6.30-10pm Mon-Sat; 6.30-9.30pm Sun.
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