The Clernkenwell


The Brits are not necessarily known for their haute cuisine. In fact, I took a trip to London several years back and after fighting for several evenings trying to find food that was even semi-edible settled on the fact the only thing even palatable in the entire country was food not even from there. That being Indian. So why, you ask, would one purposely head for a night of beers and grub at a joint helmed by a chef who bases her menu around British food and her time as a cook in the UK? Well, Mr. Hipster, of course! To call this joint a gastropub is a little bit of a stretch, but it certainly, with its pressed tin ceiling, banquets, mish-mash of antiques and low lighting, calls to mind a less cluttered (and a little more upscale) version of one. The whole place has a very comfortable, neighborhood feel, bolstered by extremely pleasant servers and a super mellow vibe. I walked in and just instantly liked the place–food be damned. So I settled in with a Speckled Hen and a tasty fried mozzarella, beet and walnut salad. There really is nothing better than salty and sweet salads–trust me. I followed it up with another beer and an olive oil braised Salmon, which was well cooked and tasty if not jump-out-my-seat exciting. And then finished off the meal with the requisite third beer and a cheese plate (which, if on the menu, is actually a required order by Ms. Hipster). Overall, the experience was extremely pleasant, the space cozy and the food, while not terribly memorable in and of itself, waaay more in line with what a meal should be given our hideous experience when chowing across the pond. [MF]

49 Clinton St.