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The Green

Restaurants, Gastropubs Clerkenwell
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Clerkenwell gastropub from the folks behind The Culpeper.

The Green is a clattering and attractively airy corner pile of a gastropub just off Clerkenwell Green, owned and operated by the folks behind Aldgate East’s Culpeper. It’s good. In fact, it’s startlingly great, dishing up the kind of hearty, fad-free seasonal cooking that dominates conversations and fills your thoughts for days after.

Schlepping up on a weekday evening, my meal was relentlessly brilliant, with echoes of Brit food pioneers The Eagle and St John (both nearby neighbours) in among the more delicate touches of its alma mater. Cauliflower cheese croquettes were a killer snack, heady with mustard and the slight sulphurous hum of brassica, the cheesy béchamel within a dead ringer for that on a slab of faultless Welsh rarebit, caramel brown and served with a teeny pile of heavily reduced and sticky onions (and clearly in thrall to St John’s version). I would do dreadful, dreadful things to eat both again, piffling £3 price tags notwithstanding.

Starters proper were better still. A plate of raw chopped beef strung with anchovy and rosemary was a grand pared-down tartare. But a dish of smoked ’n’ smeared cod’s roe with zhoug (a Middle Eastern green chilli paste), radishes and black olive tapenade was stupidly good, the initial salty thwack of roe seguing into a refined maritime flavour after a few seconds. Aquatic alchemy.

The mains? Guess. A hunk of glazed lamb fell apart on sight of the fork, collapsing into a heady gravy strung with petit pois (slightly mealy, and the only minor duff note), chargrilled lettuce, lardons and tiny potatoes. But the real kicker was a mound of tagliatelle – knobbly, chewily al dente, clearly homemade – with wild garlic, hazelnuts and pecorino (that lot rendered into bitchin’ pesto) and fried violet artichokes. Singing of summer, it was ha-ha-this-is-good-CHRIST-THIS-IS-GOOD good, and all the better sloshed down with a bottle of house Gassac Rouge wine.

All of that lot – a meal so satisfying, nuanced and flat-out delicious that I’ve barely stopped boring friends and family with the finer details since – came to £80. That, my friends, is a preposterous bargain. Go.


Address: 29 Clerkenwell Green
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
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