The original Saint Leonard lived in the Limousin region of France during the 6th Century. After arranging a series of jailbreaks, the church decided to turn him into a saint.
Funny how these things work out.
It makes it strangely appropriate that St Leonards Street is in Shoreditch, being the area of London with bars everywhere you look. And it’s on that street, that you’ll find St Leonards restaurant, a collaborative effort from the ridiculously talented Chef-Patron pair Andrew Clarke (Salt Yard, The Square, St John, etc.) and Jackson Boxer (Brunswick House, The Chess Club, etc.).
Inside, the space is a neat bundle of wood, leather, and concrete with a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bar straddled by two bipolar cooking stations: the ice bar, and the fire hearth. Here’s what each of them brings to the tables, so to speak…
THE ICE BAR
The menus change everyday – as the more creative & confident chefs tend to prefer – according to what’s fresh, and freshness is of profound importance to the ice bar. That said, you can expect the likes of cherrystone clams with ginger vinegar & sichuan oil; cured salmon with raw cream & sorrel; or bonito with smoked bone jelly and black garlic. Heating things up next door there’s-
Strictly log-burning, the hearth produces the more robust dishes (with many of the ingredients coming from Jackson Boxer’s own family farm) including whole roast ducks with green olives & mint, and dauntingly large Galloway porterhouses with bone marrow & red wine sauce – but there’s also some slightly more modestly sized things, like wood-grilled monkfish with sea buckthorn molasses & beach herbs; or a simple, good ol’ baked spider crab.
To round everything out, they’ve got a wine list with over 200 hits on it (many of which come by the glass), plus a list of classic cocktails, and a healthy lineup of cognacs & armagnacs from South West France.
Which, even in Shoreditch, might not be what you expect to find behind bars.
NOTE: St Leonards is open Mon-Sat, noon-midnight. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right HERE.
St Leonard’s | 70 Leonard Street, EC2A 4QX
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