Opening a bakery and restaurant in one is no small feat.
It certainly sorts the wheat from the chaff.
And by the looks of it, Jolene has made the cut – a beautiful, neutral-toned spot from the pair behind North London hits Primeur and Westerns Laundry. In what seems like a natural progression to Newington Green (a stone’s throw from Primeur), they’ve settled down in a light, breezy space, and, drawing on the local aesthetic established by neighbours Trangallán and Perilla, have pared it back with rough-hewn plaster walls, warm pendant lighting and simple bentwood chairs. There’s even a small outdoor terrace, romantically lit by candles come the evening, with shrubs and plants artfully dotted between tables.
Unsurprisingly, the focus is on freshly milled grain here, which is whipped into croissants, palmiers, and all manner of loaves for the breakfast dining counter, as well as fresh pastas for the main restaurant later on in the day. Speaking of…
Come the afternoon/evening, there are more complex (and less carby) dishes on offer using British-farmed ingredients. They rotate daily, but you can expect starters like pappardelle with beef cheek ragu, or spelt with courgette & basil. Going larger, there’s grilled cod on the bone with olives & artichokes; a whopping 1kg T-bone with parmesan and rocket; and 1/2 a roast chicken with aioli & breadcrumbs.
And for dessert… a chocolate cake with clotted cream, or some baked custard with pears and caramel will do nicely.
It’s all capped off with a slick of cocktails (a short-but-classic list of Negronis, Americanos, etc.) and house-made ferments, some Malt Coast beer, and an extremely rare sparkling Italian wine (called Spergola) to round out a modest, natural-leaning wine list.
After which you might find yourself, naturally, leaning too.
NOTE: Jolene is open Tuesday-Sunday 10-4pm, and Thurs-Sun 6.30-10pm. You can find out more, and book, HERE.
Jolene | 21 Newington Green, N16 9PU
Looking for a nightcap spot? Head along to Servant Jazz Quarters for a little live music