Lino

Located between the Barbican and Farringdon, the focus at Lino is on sustainability – the buzzword of the day, but an important lifestyle choice to be made in the long-term.  Housed in a former linoleum factory, the team here describe their ethos as one to “re-use, re-love and re-imagine”.

So what exactly does that mean for a restaurant?  Their interiors feature salvaged light fittings and sustainably sourced materials.  As such, they ride on the semi-industrial look very well: think open kitchen, central bar and overhead network of puffy silver vents, softened by dusky-toned armchairs and velvet-lined lounges for their table seating.

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And more importantly, how does sustainability translate to the kitchen?  The chefs here adopt a no-waste approach to food and bake their own open-crumbed sourdough bread and culture their own butter.  They’re also big on fermentation and in terms of their deserts, they refashion pastries into a croissant bread and butter.  Apparently, that’s one not to miss (although I didn’t try).

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Moving on to the main menus, sure enough, the à la carte is compact and shows confidence.  Split into small and large plates, both offer brilliant vegan and vegetarian options.  I went for the suitably seasonal Autumnal salad of smoked beetroot and quinoa, kale, blackberries and cashew cream (£10).  That plate, with its wonderfully vibrant appearance, was brilliant.  Filled with a variety of textures – crispy kale, chicory, spinach – the leaves paired very well with the solid chunks of smoky beetroot and the creamy cashew addition.

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Also excellent was the side of Potato flatbread with cannellini bean hummus (£6) (I can never resist an opportunity to sample a hummus variation).  Smooth and well-seasoned, it complemented the beetroot salad very well.

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The cooking at Lino is all exceptionally accomplished and good value, as you would expect from a chef like Richard Falk who has worked alongside Robin Gill at the Dairy in Clapham.  Lino also offers notably well-crafted breakfast and brunch menus, and I hear it’s an excellent spot for after-work-drinks around the very attractive central bar.

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Lino is an excellent asset to the no-mans area near the Barbican and conveniently closed to the City.  I’m already planning my next visit for dinner to sample their pastas!

Lino, 90 Bartholomew Cl, London EC1A 7EB

Rating: ****

Website: https://www.linolondon.co.uk/

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