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Foxlow, Stoke Newington
April 27, 2015
The opening of Foxlow on Stoke Newington Church Street has caused a bit of a local stir. The residents of “Stokey” were thrilled to see a new eatery spring up that wasn’t coffee or cake related, or another – albeit decent – Turkish kebab-house. Sadly, Stoke Newington hasn’t really seen much action in the East London restaurant boom, bar a handful of delights close by including Verden in E5 and Primeur in N5. The locals not only welcome Foxlow, but are already filling the 100-covers most days and nights since the opening this April.
The restaurant and bar comes from the guys behind Hawksmoor and Foxlow in Clerkenwell. Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s latest venture aims to become a neighborhood place and sits dominantly half way up (or down) Church Street, opposite Abney Park Cemetery and the fire station. Fitting in with the locale of independent boutiques, grocers, deli’s and cafes, Beckett commented that, “We’ve always loved the idea of opening something on Church Street, which is one of the great neighbourhood streets in London. We think we can do something there that the locals will be really proud of and judging by the response to the soft launch, people already seem excited, which has been fantastic.
Foxlow is a friendly place with genuine staff that are enthusiastic and accommodating. The atmosphere begins with them as they flit between the wooden tables meticulously attending to and amusing their diners. Interiors are a little stark but comfortable. On the first floor there are large sash windows that illuminate the room evoking images of a friends dining room. There is a strange use of army green on the lower part of the walls only redeemed by the pale green leather banquettes and teal coloured wooden paneling. The restaurant leaves much to explore, thanks to the multi-levels including lower ground floor that is a little more intimate, and the 30-cover terrace that (once the summer hits) will be packed full of brunch-loving locals sipping on bottomless Bloody Marys in the sun.
The cocktail menu at Foxlow is fun. We rather absentmindedly ordered the She-T which was a sherry and tonic, and won’t be ordering it again. When was a sherry and tonic ever a good idea? Regardless the other offerings were a pleasure, the Clissold Cooler and the Sanlucar Fizz in particular. The food menu is a good mix of smoky meats, fish and a handful of inventive vegetarian option. The starters are wonderful and full of flavour, especially the Crispy Five Pepper Squid and Smokehouse Rillettes.
For mains, it would be silly for a meat eater not to order the Thirty-five Day Aged Deckle, which came with bone marrow, with fries needing to be ordered as an extra. With the rich and juicy meat liquors, simple greens such as the super-fresh little gem lettuce with Parmesan, created balance and harmony on the palate. Although decent Borough Wines (another local to the area) house wines are the affordable wine option, we went with a bottle of Odé Aydie Blanc Sec 2013, as recommended by the bar. It aromatically matched the meat, squid and crunchy salads making it a perfect all-rounder. The brunch menu is already popular and we are seeing the all-day breakfast burger all over Instagram enticing us to revisit very soon.