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Clerkenwell Area Suggstions?... [London]

Simon Jul 31, 2010 09:07 AM

Hi...staying in the area, and would love any suggestions in the greater Clerkenwell neighborhood, including Exmouth Market, Smithfield Market, and further north towards Angel underground station...

Already have Moro on my radar, and have been to (and enjoyed Caravan)...and have been to the St. John Bread and Wine several times in the past and plan to go to the Smithfield one...

All cuisines, all price ranges...thanks much...

  1. c
    ChristineBerenger Aug 5, 2010 12:10 PM

    Simon -

    You must try Club Gascon (57 West Smithfield). It is higher end, but so amazing, especially if you fancy foie gras. You also asked about Angel. Try Ottolenghi (think healthful, prepared salads which you can take out or eat on premises there, but just at that location). Here are a few other suggestions for other neighborhoods in London (lots of Marylebone) which I just posted: http://favabeansandchianti.com/2010/0...
    I hope you find it useful.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChristineBerenger
      chief1284 Aug 5, 2010 02:55 PM

      I went to Ottolenghi with a little bit of trepidation. It has all the hallmarks of style and hype over substance. I needn't have. It really is fantastic, and they do have some absolutely brilliant unhealthy cakes and pastries if too health-conscious a meal might be a put-off.

      1. re: chief1284
        Simon Aug 5, 2010 03:31 PM

        Cool!...i shall try it!

    2. b
      bodessa Aug 3, 2010 06:21 AM

      Two spots that haven't been mentioned - Medcalf, next to Moro, is an old favourite. Scruffy, relaxed, trendy-ish spot.
      The Old China Hand, just off Rosebery Avenue - an old Irish pub serving great dim sum. What a combination!

      And a second recommend for the Charles Lamb - the best pub in the area, imho.

      1. greedygirl Aug 1, 2010 12:54 AM

        I didn't realise there was a Smithfield St John Bread and Wine!

        Trulli in Highbury/Islington is getting a great buzz and is not too far away. I also like the Coach and Horses, Ambassador and Moro. Sedap also very good.

        5 Replies
        1. re: greedygirl
          chief1284 Aug 1, 2010 02:53 AM

          There isn't (a Smithfield Bread and Wine).

          Has anyone ever been to Passage Cafe? I've heard good things and the menu has all the hallmarks of it being great. Its right by Bruno Loubet and the Modern Pantry. I might go soon and report back.

          Oh and there's also HIx Oyster and Chop House.

          1. re: chief1284
            greedygirl Aug 1, 2010 03:34 AM

            He must mean the original St John I guess.

            1. re: greedygirl
              Simon Aug 1, 2010 08:14 AM

              yeah, i meant the original St. John...

              Had brunch at Modern Pantry -- very nice place, perfectly cooked poached eggs, haloumi cheese, etc...

              Had late lunch at The Peasant...eh...doughy fishcake, vinegary chilled soup...not so good...(but a fine glass of chilled gamay)...

              1. re: Simon
                greedygirl Aug 1, 2010 08:36 AM

                You might want to try 28-50, a new wine bar in Farringdon which got a good write up in Time Out the other week.


                1. re: greedygirl
                  sphamilton Aug 3, 2010 05:18 AM

                  I second the vote for Sedap on Old Street (Clerkenwell side of Old Street roundabout, almost opposite St Luke's church): very good, very reasonable Straits Chinese/Malaysian food.

        2. j
          Joan Kureczka Jul 31, 2010 09:25 PM

          Don't forget The Eagle, the place that started all the gastropub fuss. Still great food generally in a no frills pub setting.

          1. s
            Simon Jul 31, 2010 03:36 PM

            Great!...thanks to both of you for all of these...i'd passed by a few of them in the last two days and was curious...

            Tonight, i went to a new Italian place called Renaissance (on St.John St, south of Rosebery): nice staff and adequate food, and worked nicely as a quiet date restaurant, but not chowish really...after, we wandered south to St. John for a great dessert (chocolate cake w/ cherries), which eclipsed the whole Italian meal completely...

            Will try some of the above suggestions (Saki, Tajimi Tei, and Vinoteca especially), as well as Moro, and will report back...

            1. m
              MonkeyC Jul 31, 2010 11:50 AM

              I second Comptoir Gascon.

              I also recommend Vinoteca, which is around the corner from Comptoir Gascon. Technically a "wine bar" (great wines by the glass) but the food is excellent. It does get crowded and they don't take reservations so it is easier to arrive a bit early. If you are not in the mood for a full meal, this also makes a good quick stop.

              Around Exmouth Market, Santore has excellent pizza and antipasti. Have had some good pasta as well, but the pizza is the best (giant pizza oven)...

              For Japanese food, Tajima Tei, on Leather Lane is very reliable and always full of Japanese businessmen. Unfortunately, they are only open on weekdays.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MonkeyC
                ChristineBerenger Aug 5, 2010 12:15 PM

                Limster and MonkeyC - I third the Gascon "fiefdom"... just added it as a go-to on my website and told Simon about it below.

              2. limster Jul 31, 2010 10:37 AM

                On Exmouth Market, I also liked the Ambassador.

                Also, the Coach and Horse just off Farringdon Road -- a very nice gastropub, and have been meaning to go back to try their self-cured hams.

                Around Smithfield Market -- Comptoir Gascon for duck fat fries. Saki for pretty good and slightly modernised izakaya food.

                Further north, in St John's Sq and on Old Street are Bistro Bruno Loubet and Sedap.

                Charles Lamb is closer to Angel; great pub and with well composed food. The Compass is ok foodwise, but loved their dessert.

                What's the word on Portal?

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