Bistro Bruno Loubet
86-88 Clerkenwell Road
Date of Last Visit: Monday, June 28th, 2010
The Damage: £50ish each
The Background: Time passes so quickly. Before you know it, it's June and then July already.
Bistro Bruno Loubet is still new. Right? But it's been open since when? March? That's ancient in blog terms, where we–the royal we–all secretly strive to be the first to review any new restaurant. (Or at least–to be the second to blog about a place after the venerable Dos Hermanos. Simon moving to California means the field is WIDE open…)
I live right up the road from Bruno Loubet. (Stalkers take note.) And I've never been. Me, the local always griping about how no new places have opened in Clerkenwell in like F-O-R-E-V-E-R. (This is a lie. New places open in Clerkenwell all the time. Just not fast enough and close enough for me.)
But here I am, thanks to the industriousness of two fellow bloggers. It's Monday. I don't like to go out on Mondays. Monday night is MY night. Time to watch CSI Miami. Or New York. Or Las Vegas. I'm sure one of them is on. Probably all three. But–sigh–I guess I'll go out for dinner.
The Entrance: The maitre'd is weird. That's the only way to describe it. I feel like I'm stuck at an awkward party. I walk in. I say hello. He says hello. And then he just sorta stands there and stares at me. "Um, my friend Alice made a reservation for 7:30." (It's 7:20. You know I like to be early.)
"Yes, she did," he responds.
"I guess I'll go to the bar for a drink then."
The Bar: At the bar, I feel like I'm that mouse that's always trying to get into my flat, foiled by my many many Ultrasonic Mouse Repellers. Because every time the bar staff turn on the beer tap, I WANT TO LEAVE. It is generating the highest pitched, most annoying noise ever. The staff all acknowledge the sound is very strange BUT NO ONE DOES ANYTHING ABOUT IT. And they continue to pour one beer after another.
Let me remind you all…All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (or women) to do nothing.
The Service: Cara arrives and Alice soon afterwards. We are asked to take our table immediately because we only have the table for two hours. Let's just note that no one ever told Alice that when she booked.
But it's all okay because once we're seated, we're brought lots of tap water and our server is effervescently cheerful and makes all sorts of recommendations.
I have the pea soup to start. It's very pleasant.
(I should note that after hearing a fellow employee being described as "pleasant," I told my boss, "Please. I don't ever want to be known as the pleasant girl.")
And then I have the lamb ball. They must have confused themselves momentarily with Giant Robot across the road, which serves a lot of ball-shaped food. Seriously. Sorry…sorry…someone is probably reading this and hating me right now. I believe this was confit lamb shoulder. It was dry. I became confused. And depressed.
The Verdict: Sometimes, I feel like I live in an alternate universe. How can everyone love a place so much that I, alas, found just okay?