Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Clerkenwell (49 Clinton Street)
Grant & Kate were only in town for 1 day last week, so I shuffled down to Clerkenwell, a gastropub on Clinton St. between Rivington & Stanton. I'm somewhat skeptical of places that label themselves as 'gastropubs', so I was eager to taste the food here. We took over the entire bar area & downed pints of Stella & Strongbow, but as the night (& drink tab) progressed, we got hungry.
We started by sharing the pate which did not disappoint. Topped by a thick layer of butter & a side of caramelized onions, this dish got even better as the butter softened & melted.
I opted for the Toad in the Hole. Honestly, after spending 8 years in an English boarding school, I was expecting the same disgusting, dry fare, but I was pleasantly surprised. The dish was basically 'deconstructed', with Yorkshire pud replacing the normal flaky pastry & a delicious jus topped the sausages, onions & mash. The real star of the plate were the sausages which are made fresh in the kitchen. They were well spiced & delicious, a far cry from school lunches!
Adam got the fish & chips which he devoured, so I can only assume that they were good. The chips were thick cut, English style (as they should be). The plating of the dish was not what you'd really expect from a gastropub, but it did look good.
Clerkenwell is a stone's throw from my house, so odds are I will be returning. The food is good, our bartender was very friendly & we all had a good time. You can't really ask for much more than that.