Food & Wine | Food

Neighbourhood favourite

Local and sustainable produce


Bistot Bruno Loubet

St John's Square,

86–88 Clerkenwell Road,



020 7324 4455


Bruno Loubet's eponymous bistro is set in the Zetter hotel, in the very heart of Clerkenwell. Despite its trendy local, the restaurant delivers traditional classic French cuisine to a loyal neighbourhood community and business clientele alike. Hugging the corner of Clerkenwell road, its sizeable dining room is flooded with light from the expansive windows creating a vibrant, uplifting and inviting atmosphere. Its no wonder so many regulars linger just that little while longer after a casual meeting at its relaxed bar. Here, bar staff will conjure up cocktails from a creative list including barman Luciano's own take on a Bellini, given a seasonal twist with quince instead of peach. Enjoy a glass accompanied by a selection of Med-style 'nibbles' like the deep fried anchovy olives with aioli or mushrooms a la Grecque before sitting comfortably on casual wooden tables to a menu that is fittingly approachable, simple and concise. Start with French staples like snails with a garlic 'custard', although these Hereford variety, like many of the other ingredients are sourced from prime UK suppliers, reflecting Loubet's local, seasonal and sustainable ethos. Indeed, all his establishments, including the most recent opening Grain Store operate strict supplier, energy and waste management promoting green and sustainability practices. This translates in charming details, like the water, sourced from a well (hence the name Clerken-well) located directly under the restaurant! All the better to wash down the perfectly executed dishes of delicious French flavours, including the rabbit and porc rillettes with pickeled prune and cornichons or freshest salads like the green lentil, chicory, pear and red onion given an unctuous creaminess by the Roquefort dressing. Main courses cover a wide range of meats, like the Daube de boeuf forestiere, with woody, wild mushrooms and the classic cut 'onglet' with fine, crisp pommes frites and seafood favourites such as mussles in cider or sea bream with Provencal style artichokes, as well as long-standing vegetarian favourite, vibrant violet beetroot ravioli, its natural sweetness balanced with peppery rocket and a crunchy topping of golden fried breadcrumbs. A prix fixe option offers quality and ease at affordable prices. Service is so sharp its more akin to a fine dining establishment and like the high calibre of the ingredients and precise execution, uncompromising quality is presented here in an approachable and unpretentious context - much like the entire philosophy of talented founding Chef Loubet himself. A neighbourhood favourite. LPV Top Tip: Look out for Loubet's cookbook Mange Tout for easy recipes of similarly delicious French bistro cooking.

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