From the team behind critically acclaimed The Clove Club and Luca comes Two Lights, which is headed up by American chef Chase Lovecky.
The restaurant takes its name from the national park in the US state of Maine, where Lovecky was born, and the menu is billed as a celebration of ‘modern American’ cuisine, although most of the nods to its US heritage are on the subtle side.
While Luca may be all cosy banquettes and smart light fixtures, Two Lights is a far more stripped back affair. Tables are packed in to a compact dining room which features a partially open kitchen towards the back of the room.
Of the food available on our visit (the menu changes at Two Lights every few months) the dish that shouted ‘God bless the USA’ the loudest was the buttermilk fried chicken, which was served with doughy American-style ‘biscuits’ (sort of like savoury scones). Arriving at the table as two chunky deep-fried chicken breasts, this finger-licking-good dish is livened up even more by the sauces that come with it - nutty sunflower-seed gravy and mayonnaise with the slightest hint of jalapeño running through it.
Other than that, though, most of Two Light’s menu is a modern European affair, and for the most part it’s successful. We were pleased to see that the canapé-sized ‘crab on chips’ that got people talking when the restaurant first opened (two thick-cut beef fat chips which are topped with succulent shredded crab) are still on the menu, this time with the addition of pickled elderflower, while we loved pillowy flatbread topped with sharply pickled chanterelles and a glossy orange egg yolk.
Sadly, though, chaotic service let us down on our visit. Although the staff were well-meaning and knowledgeable, some sloppy errors stopped Two Lights from being a flawless dining experience, including basic spelling mistakes on the menu and long waits for drinks orders.
We also found puddings such as the molten chocolate cake to be merely average rather than amazing. When the restaurant gets things right, it’s excellent, but there’s still some work to be done to let Two Lights really shine.