What can you tell us about LINO?
This new bar and restaurant has just opened up in a development that's been carved out of St Bart's called Barts Square, so the restaurant itself is a brand new space. In charge of things in the kitchen is Richard Falk, who was most recently head chef of The Dairy, so it's fair to say there's high expectations.
It's an all-day restaurant, so while we had dinner there, it's also a place for breakfast and weekend brunch too. breakfast includes bone marrow beans - which definitely sound worth trying.
Where is it?
It's a few minutes south of Smithfield, very close to Club Gascon. Tube-wise, it's pretty equidistant between Barbican and St Pauls and a short walk from Farringdon.
Where's good nearby for a drink?
There's the aforementioned Club Gascon bar that's very close and the next best bet is a few minutes walk to Farringdon where there's much more choice.
But LINO itself has a pretty large central bar. It's all counter seating but with plenty of space behind for standing too. So it's definitely a good starting point for drinks (how busy it gets just after work, we're not sure). But that bar means that there's a pretty decent cocktail list here - including the one below. The list is primarily their versions of classics - so there's a White Russian, Singapore Sling, Harvey Wallbanger and more on there.
Where should we sit?
There are a few options and rooms (including a big sharing table in one of the rooms), but we'd say the best spot are the set-aside marble-topped tables by the main window.
Any snacking food while we're thinking about the main event?
Yes, there's a snacks menu which absolutely shouldn't be missed, You'll want their bread and butter for sure - not to mention the following:
And what how about the main event?
The main menu is split into small and large plates - essentially starters and mains (and sides). On the seafood side, there was a whole grilled lemon sole to share (£60 with sides - and as it needs 30 mins prep, you might want to pre-order) and another dish that looked tempting on a wet winter night was the "Oxtail and potato hot pot with Brussel tops" (£14 - and again, baked to order).
And here's what we had:
And save room for dessert?
Yes - particularly the first one below as it's a real star of the show. There are also Neal's Yard cheeses and the milk ice-cream affogato sounds good too (£4.50).
How about vegetarian dishes?
The croquettes above aside, there are plenty of veg options on the menu. You can have "Sprouted grain salad, cauliflower, cavolo nero and celery" as either starter or main, and there's also "Lasagne of pumpkin, Jerusalem artichoke and parmesan" and "'Risotto' of grains roasted in brown butter and winter mushrooms" among others. Expect that offering to change through the year.
And what about drink?
We've mentioned the cocktails - but there's a good selection of wine too (which somewhat surprisingly is split into 250ml/500ml and bottles - no driving glasses here. Prices start at £26 on each list - but as this is the City, you can head upwards to £181 a bottle if you're feeling a bit spendy.
When the new offices and flats around here fill up, this place will be a particularly handy spot. For now though LINO's a bit of a secret and worth seeking out, particularly when everywhere else is packed to the gills for the festive season.
More about Lino
Where is it? 90 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7EB
How to book: Email email@example.com
Hot Dinners dined as guests of the restaurant. Prices correct at time of publication.
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