The Rookery, Clapham Common [London]
The Rookery opened about 3 months ago on Clapham Common Southside. I had never visited Firefly, the site's previous incarnation, but I think the decor here is new - dark wood bar, lots of candles, dark leather benches, and rectangular white tiles which combine to give it an American fell. Big glass front looks straight out over the Common.
Service was friendly and attentive. I think our "waiter" may have been the owner and he was very happy to chat about the menu and to recommend drinks. I started with an apple, pear and mixed spice prosecco cocktail, which had so much fruit puree it was more like a slighty fizzy alcoholic smoothie. Nice, but I prefer the balance tipped the other way!
I started with mussels with cream and garlic. These were perfectly cooked with a rich sauce, and a plate of delicious home-made bread. My mum's generous serving of chorizo had a nice smoky char on outside, and was good quality meat within, and not too oily, I'm told.
Her main of lentils, feta, and roast squash was a comforting plateful with a good level of chilli warmth, and my pollack was expertly cooked til just translucent. Creamy leeks with garlic and chives rivalled my Mum's version - high praise in this household! Wonderful triple cooked chips - golden, crispy and salty without, fluffy and steaming hot within. A glass of their house white, a Pcipoul, for me.
Like the Abbeville Kitchen last week, the dessert menu didn't appeal so I'm beginning to think it might be me! There was an apple and almond crumble with custard, a clementine and clove parfait, halva yoghurt with spices, and a cheeseboard. The guy had been telling us that last week's cocktail was clementine and clove so it's good to see that nothing goes to waste!
They;ve got a good-looking cocktail menu and the food menu changes regularly, so I could easily see this becoming my local. £50 between us. They could do with sorting the music out though, as it veered wildly from Laura Marling to Paul Simon to African choral and who knows what else in between!
Ha, hell indeed.
Another trip on Saturday night was a completely different experience: it was packed and noisy, though we managed to get seats at the bar. The food was good - chorizo again, along with creamed wild mushrooms on puff pastry (too messy to be called a tart!) and pork terrine with excellent home-made piccalilli, with an order of bread. I think Iw ould have been quite annoyed if I had booked a table for dinner as it's definitely more of a "bar with food" at the weekend. Cocktails were a bit small, though I suppose for £5.50 I should have guessed!