There’s only one thing that you can be sure of after leaving Two Lights.
And it’s that you won’t be too light.
Because this is a new restaurant from the head chef at The Clove Club, which is the UK’s highest entry on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (currently No. 26). And when you’re served food that good, you won’t just stop at one course.
The main driving force behind it is Chase Lovecky, an American by birth, just in case you couldn’t tell from his first name. He’s been the head chef at the Clove Club for the last three years, and has helped ease the place up the list of globally admired eateries, maintain & polish its Michelin Star, and reinvent the East London dining scene. But Two Lights is his own joint through-and-through, and he’s serving Modern American food here, as opposed to the Modern British that he cooked up at The Clove Club.
You’ll find it on the Shoreditch end of Kingsland Road, just before the railway bridge in a cosy, minimal, almost underdressed space. Perhaps because this place is designed to be a simple, no-fuss ‘neighbourhood restaurant’ built to serve the locals (although, good luck with that, given the pedigree of the food and the neutron-star-like gravitational pull it exerts over the city’s foodie community), so everything is a little pared down – the walls are white, the furnishings are comfortable, and the ceiling is studded with silver-tipped lightbulbs so as to avoid the necessity of lampshades.
The restaurant that formerly occupied the space was Italian, and you can still see the monolithic pizza oven peeking out from the semi-open kitchen. Instead of demolishing it though, Lovecky decided to use it to roast meat and make bread, which he’s doing in dishes like the sardine Katsu sandwiches, and a flatbread of ‘mussels & brussels’.
Slightly larger dishes include whole roasted artichoke heads with sunflower seed miso; and grouse sausage with coco beans & figs. Going larger still (there are three size tiers on the menu rather than just mere starters & mains) and you can fill up on a hefty grilled short rib with beetroot & pickled walnuts; or whole roasted ray wings with a little dill pickle butter. For dessert, you’ll want to dive into the satisfyingly creamy brown butter ice cream, or refresh yourself with a little fragile grape granita with mint & shiso leaf.
There’s a little bar at the front sitting under shelves lined with bottles of wine, and booze-wise, that’s the main focus here, with a broadly European selection of bottles strictly from small vineyards. Of course, there are a couple of American varietals in there too.
Gives them something extra to yank off the shelves.
NOTE: Two Lights is open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, plus dinner on Tuesday – you can find out more and book a table right HERE.
Two Lights | 28-30 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DA
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