What can you tell us about Jolene?
The degree of buzz surrounding this Stoke Newington opening should have given you a heads-up. And the reason for all the interest in an all-day bakery/restaurant in this part of town? Well, that'll be down to its owners - Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell. This is the duo that also brought the delights of Primeur and Westerns Laundry to this part of London.
This time, they've teamed up with farmer Andy Cato (who we didn't realise was also one half of Groove Armada in a previous life until after we'd met him) for Jolene.
Where is it?
It's on Newington Green - where Dandy used to be. They've moved things around quite a lot and the whole space looks gorgeous - it must be a wonderfully sunny place to be if you're here for breakfast or lunch. The nearest station is Canonbury overground, or just do as Stokie people do and get the No 73 bus here.
Where should we meet friends for a drink first?
As we arrived on a balmy early Autumnal evening it was warm enough for folk to sit on benches dotted around outside and enjoy a drink. If the weather's not playing ball then Yield wine bar across the green is a good spot and we like The Cellars pub on Newington Green Road too, which is a few minutes away.
Where should we sit?
If you've been to Primeur or Westerns Laundry, you'll know the drill by now. There's usually a good mix of tables for four as well as several communal tables, where chalked off sections with your name and time of booking show you where you're sitting. It's very convivial and there are also some nice seats up at the bar where you can eat too.
So what's on the menu?
Every day the menu changes and even while we were eating, dishes were being wiped off the blackboard or various elements were swapped out. But sections are loosely split into snacks and small plates, pasta, main courses with sides and desserts.
If you're eating here during the day you'll probably get more to grips with the bakery side of things, and in particular Jolene's focus on natural grains from Andy's farm. Here's what we ate on the night:
What's the choice like for vegetarians?
Not bad - more choice in the small plates and sides though - there wasn't a main vegetarian course on offer (but we didn't ask at the time).
And to drink?
Almost all the natural wines on the list are available by the 125ml glass, carafe or bottle, starting at £24 for a bottle of Grenache but with most in the £30-£40 bracket. Our Verdicchio was thankfully not from the deeply funky school of natural wine. If you're off the sauce there's a daily juice of the day too.
We're huge fans of their other places, but there's something rather special about Jolene. Maybe it's a little more relaxed, more comfortable in its own skin than the other two. Whatever it is, we like it and we're very glad it's in our neck of the woods. And even if it isn't in yours, you should come here regardless.
Hot Dinners dined as guests of Jolene. Prices correct at time of writing.
More about Jolene
Where is it? 21 Newington Green, London N16 9PU
How to book: On their website
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