London date: Foxlow

This past weekend the boy took me out for a lovely dinner to celebrate a big anniversary. Come Valentines Day it'll be 5 years! Where does the time go?? We got all dolled-up (I put a bow in my hair!) and headed to our new favourite spot in town, Foxlow in Clerkenwell

Foxlow opened this past fall under the umbrella of the uber-popular Hawksmoor group, but they bill themselves simply as "a new neighbourhood restaurant".  Mighty humble for a "new neighbourhood restaurant" that got 14,000 emails in one day when they announced their soft-launch open for bookings. A friend managed to nab us a table back in December and we instantly fell in love with the relaxed atmosphere, genuine service and to-die-for food and cocktails. By the end of the night we were celebrating the bartender's birthday with him. Always a good sign. 

Hipster but not offputtingly so, (excellent tiling, excellent font) the bar area is refreshingly waistcoat free and they actually take bookings!! The friendly and stylish waitstaff (who we're told were hand-picked from the pool of Hawksmoor restaurants for being the best of the best), were sporting some fabulous facial hair and tattoos. They were chatty and knowledgable - attentive without being overbearing - and we definitely had no complaints. 

It's probably the most "New York" restaurant we've found in London thus far, save for Sager and Wilde wine bar in Hackney, which has a distinctively Brooklyn feel to it (heaven). Yes I know London is supposed to feel like London, but it does that all too well most of the time, making Foxlow and the Hawksmoor group in general a refreshing change.  There are touches of Wes Anderson-ish-ness (I just coined that. you're welcome.) in the cozy nautical decor, as if you almost wouldn't be surprised to see Steve Zissou pull up next to you at the bar.  And while it's not on the official list of recommended haunts for the upcoming London Fashion Week, I could definitely see the well-heeled crowd feeling well at home in the chic yet casual-cool atmosphere. Stateside visitors in particular. 

The menu is a meat-lovers dream, as expected, but there were several ridiculously delicious, non-risotto based (thankyou) options for my "apologetic vegetarian" diet as well. (The look of disappointment on servers faces time and again has resulted in me sheepishly ordering in my best imsorrydonthateme voice lately.) Anyway back to Foxlow. Do not even THINK of leaving without trying one of their soft-serve ice cream desserts ( we shared the apple crumble one, and I'm still thinking about it, both right before I fall asleep at night and first thing when I wake up in the morning ) and sampling at least two of their impeccably mixed cocktails. My sweet tooth favoured the rum-based Miami Dolphin (you had me at Miami), and my American friend was thrilled to see a Pickle Buck on offer. If you've never had one it's quite the treat! 

Jon has an absolutely no-taking-pictures-of-your-food-at-dinner rule, respectable so, but a quick google image search will turn up all the meat porn your heart could desire. Although I think it's just best if you just book a table and see it for yourself, in the flesh. 

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