A new approach to modern British dining in the city
Walking through Clerkenwell on a foggy, smoky late November evening can transport you to earlier, industrial periods in London‘s long history, and arriving at LINO compounds that experience. Situated in a former linoleum and carpet warehouse on secluded Bartholomew Close, Lino was opened by the former head chef of The Dairy in Clapham - Richard Falk - who has created a dynamic space and veritable mecca to responsible, seasonable and low-waste modern British cuisine.
The room is dominated by a central clover-shaped bar fashioned from tulipwood, which serves as a hub for servers and an ideal place for the solo diner to pitch up. The outer rim of the room is circumscribed with plush, comfortable seating, with smaller armchairs for couples and larger armchairs for parties of four. The colour scheme plays liberally with millennial pink, peach and rustic green. We settled in with a bottle of Fontodi Chianti Classico and made our selections from the menu.
We weren‘t disappointed. Not by any selection. A snack of cheddar and sauerkraut croquettes set the pace for what was to be a mesmerising meal, packed with intense flavour. Aged beef tartare was similarly gobsmacking, cut through with bone marrow and smoked duck egg. An oxtail and potato hot pot with Brussel tops was homey and comforting with an unexpected depth of flavour, but our hearts were won over by an ineffably tender lamb loin served with glazed heritage carrots, rainbow chard and crispy shallots. The triple cooked chips were some of the best we‘ve had in London.
LINO was a beautiful surprise on a cool November evening - one that‘s well worth a visit.