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the clove club


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reviews of london restaurants seem mostly to be stuck inside other large threads. so i figured i would start new threads for the restaurants i recently ate at.

 

my longer review of my lunch at the clove club (with many, many pictures) is on the blog, but here's the tl;dr: i really liked all the food but found the meal as a whole to not have much of a through-line. this seems to be a consequence of contemporary cheffy eclecticism which makes it hard to figure out what a restaurant's identity is outside the context of other restaurants like itself. i repeat as well my earlier comments (in the bigger london thread) about some aspects of the service being a little silly. as i say in my review, "some of the servers were rather earnest young men who bent down and whispered the descriptions with a sort of hushed urgency that suggested they were delivering the launch codes for nuclear missiles or relating symptoms of an embarrassing disease over the phone in a crowded place—so much so that on occasion I had to ask them to repeat themselves."

 

that said, i really enjoyed the meal and odds are good that i'll return with mrs. jones when we're in london for 3 months in the spring.

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yeah, some of the things that were done very well were sort of non-sequiturs. for example, the buttermilk fried chicken, which is apparently a signature dish and much beloved of regulars and reviewers alike. yes, it's done well but it's still not very interesting unless the thought of eating buttermilk fried chicken in a michelin starred restaurant is exciting in and of itself. ditto for the haggis puff--nicely executed but the end result is not very interesting or tasty as food per se, more as an exercise in demonstrating the chef and diner's catholic tastes. on the other hand, when it came to the big things--the monkfish and the duck--they delivered in spades, with good technique and and restrained deployment of the cross-cultural elements (in the case of the duck).

 

and the service is both polished and sort of funny at the same time. like they want to make it un-stuffy but can't quite commit.

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and the service is both polished and sort of funny at the same time. like they want to make it un-stuffy but can't quite commit.

 

Right, exactly. That's like the best characterization of this service style I've yet read.

 

And those hushed-voice descriptions of the dishes, as if they're sharing the secrets of holy writ. It's just dinner (or lunch, as may be).

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  • 6 months later...

I was gonna ask who'd been here, but then I decided to use the search function and voilà.

 

I got a good laugh out of reading the above - so true. But I'm also wondering: are we so schooled by the French or Italian progression of a meal (not to mention, Japanese) that a meal which doesn't approach that methodology often leaves us shaking our collective heads?

 

And -- I think we'll eat a meal here, as it comes highly recommended from a (nother) respected source.

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  • 1 year later...

We had a nice dinner here for my birthday on Saturday night.

 

There is a crazy amount of staff now and I did come away thinking (God help me) that if they had dropped a couple of the weaker courses there was the making of a great three course meal at a simpler restaurant (snacks; scallops with black truffle, clementine and hazelnuts; Lancashire chicken three ways; awesome tarte tatin).  We drank a bottle of George Vernay Condrieu and shared a glass each of Unico 2005 (it was my birthday!  But also a mistake as it was tight), and some delicious Elio Altare Barolo.

 

We had a drink and some snacks at Brat beforehand (escaped a little early from the kids) and, good as some of the food was at Clove Club, part of me did wish that we had stayed there for some grilled turbot.

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I did come away thinking (God help me) that if they had dropped a couple of the weaker courses there was the making of a great three course meal at a simpler restaurant (snacks; scallops with black truffle, clementine and hazelnuts; Lancashire chicken three ways; awesome tarte tatin).  

no, no, no...keep saying this!

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