If you’re partial to the Michelin-wielding pleasures of the Clove Club – or perhaps have never been able to afford it, for that matter – we recommend you pay a visit to its smaller sister ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant.
Two Lights, which has just reached its first-birthday milestone, is on Kingsland Road next to iconic bar Jaguar Shoes, its emphasis on simple American-influenced food. With its peak Shoreditch location we’re not sure whether it can quite be classed neighbourhood, however.
Still, it’s one of those superior boltholes that is, on the evidence of our recent visit, reliable across the board. To start? Don’t miss the cute tiny elderflower chips topped with crab or, in fact any of the small plates: an interesting combo of plump mussels and lardo with peppers came piled on a couple of inches of toast, while even better was a square of flatbread with chanterelles and egg yolk and Tunworth cheese. Oh my.
And mains? The signature dish – well, it is US-flavoured, remember – is buttermilk fried chicken, extremely succulent, with biscuits (what we would call scones), as well as moreish sunflower seed gravy and jalapeno mayo; our only wavering was over a tasty grilled Middlewhite pork chop, nearly, but not quite, overpowered by a rich anchovy and walnut butter.
You’ll probably have to book: we recommend a seat at the window counter to watch the passing trade of Shoreditch-at-play – or in front of the open kitchen, where you can perch and perhaps learn a tip, or three, from the chefs.
Main image: Anton Rodriguez