What can you tell us about Clipstone?
It's the latest restaurant from the people behind the very popular Portland and Quality Chop House. The former chef at the former, Merlin Johnson, is now the Executive Chef for the group. This sees them trying out a new seasonal menu.
Where is it?
It's not too far from the original Portland, in north Fitzrovia - an area which is still fairly bereft of great restaurants and will certainly benefit from this opening. The nearest station is Great Portland St, but it's not too far a walk from Warren St or Goodge St.
Where should we meet for a drink first?
Our personal choice was the excellent Remedy wine bar, that's about five minutes walk from Clipstone and a recommended drop-in spot for some a great tipple or two. Iberica on Great Portland Street is also a handy spot for a drink.
And where's a good spot to sit?
This has s a very different layout to Portland, as they've taken on a corner building. One thing that's well worth knowing is that there are quite a few counter seats in front of the window - so it's a good space for solo diners. And they've got some terrace space out in front. As for the best seats - grab one by the window if you can.
And what kind of food can we expect?
It's a combination of snacks, small plates, flatbreads and larger plates.
Frankly, the sourdough flatbreads are really where it's really at - don't leave without having at least one. We went for the seafood flatbread with scallop, walnut pesto and lemon zest (£12). We'd say that's the one to have if you only order the one - but the cheese, courgette and honey one sounded pretty special as well.
Of the rest of the menu, worth highlighting are:
- The rillettes of rabbit, pork and foie gras with grilled bread (£6) - we devoured these the second they arrived.
- The tomatoes, raspberries, basil and fermented tomato juice (£6) - as now we know that tomatoes and raspberries are surprisingly good bedfellows. A very summmery dish.
- The 400g 86-day Yorkshire beef with onions and pickled walnuts salsa Verde (£35) - while this is right on the edge of just how much you can age beef, this was the right side with beef that we could cut through like butter.
- Leave space for the Paris-Brest (£5) - a wonderfully nutty pastry dessert that will be much-Instagrammed in upcoming weeks.
One thing we did miss were a few choice sides with the larger plates. Apart from the flatbread, it's a very low carb affair (which may suit many very well), but we really would have liked them to try a potato dish that was up there with Portland's hasselbacks or the Chop House's fried potatoes.
And how about drink?
We hovered around the cocktail menu (a summer sangria was very welcome) and the wines on tap. They've a very good selection on tap - four red, four white - ranging from £3.50 to £6 a glass (for 125 ml). The best on the night was actually the cheapest - Bernardo Farina Verdejo - only £21 for a full bottle.
As with the previous restaurants, though, the full wine list is well worth pursuing, ranging from £21 to £75 a bottle.
The folk behind Portland have done it again with a restaurant that's likely to be lapped up by locals (it was already nice and buzzing on our early visit). The flatbreads are well worth travelling across town for, prices are pretty keen and the restaurant is in a lovely setting - very convivial, a lovely design and full of light. Just what this area (and many others) needed.
Clipstone is at 5 Clipstone St, London W1W 6BB. Find out more about Clipstone.
Hot Dinners were invited to Clipstone. Prices were correct at the time of writing.