From the outside, this new venture from the guys behind Primeur and Westerns Laundry looks like a candlelit private party – although appearances can be deceptive. Jolene is first and foremost a bakery but, come nightfall, it morphs into a restaurant with an ever-changing chalkboard of sharing dishes.
The simplicity of the Italian-leaning menu will be familiar to fans of the owners’ earlier ventures. Don't come here if you’re on a carbs-free regime, because their bread is as good as it gets; the sourdough almost chewy, slightly tangy and perfect with plates of jamón de Teruel or Tuscan salami so pretty it could pattern a dress.
Occasionally, simple veers into plain, as in a plate of romanesco with only a few almonds and raisins to add some interest, but almost everything else is stunning. Warm, rosemary flatbread slathered with herby oil is perfect with bowls of pasta made from home-milled flour – our buttercup-yellow ravioli filled with soft pumpkin and sage was unforgettable. Hefty mains such as an entire beef's cheek, bourguignon-style are designed for sharing, or you could go solo with a huge fillet of expertly cooked stone bass in a rich, satisfying retro butter sauce.
As for the vibe, think Notting Hill minimalism meets Shoreditch warehouse with a Parisian jazz soundtrack and some cool customers (Nick Grimshaw was having a low-key dinner when we visited). Our advice: book ahead, arrive early and have fun watching the place fill up.
Photo Credit: Patricia Niven