From a truffle sabayon imbued fillet steak tartare, to a perfectly cooked tuna steak on baby potatoes, the food was immaculate
It’s hard to make an impact in London. It’s even harder to make an impact in Shoreditch. New bars and restaurants are often pale imitations of somewhere else. The Jones Family Project sounds like the type of community collective you find in Brixton. But being the Ditch it’s not a collective but it is a collection of people who have worked together on a number of hip bar projects and err ... the Pitcher and Piano.
The JFP itself is a bar and restaurant that’s split across two floors, with seating for 50 on the ground floor cocktail bar and a further 150 in the basement restaurant. Given it used to be an office, one of the first things you notice is the space. With high ceilings and square rooms, there’s a lot of it. But the same could be said for a Pitcher and Piano. However the JFP puts a hipster spin on the space – the basement restaurant is adorned with red leather booths, shed-shaped steel canopies, and exposed brick walls with bookcase and prints. The brick bar with high yellow chairs could be straight out of nineties Manhattan. The relatively few imbibers were more your urbane professional then hip baristas and artists, but the ambience was buzzing and the setting verging on romantic.
The food was something else. It’s easy to become jaded when you eat out for a living, but from a truffle sabayon imbued fillet steak tartare, through to a red curry spiced crispy squid, to a perfectly cooked tuna steak on baby potatoes, the food was immaculate. Good looking and good tasting. Having said that, the Jones Vanilla Bean Cheese ‘Cake’ was disappointing. I get that the ‘cake’ was in quotation marks, but the homemade nut granola, while tasty, made it less dessert, more Pret a Manger breakfast. I want my desserts to be decadent, not healthy. The gin based cocktails were hipsterishly nameless but superb. And the extensive wine list had something for every palate and budget.
The restaurant was busy but surprisingly the upstairs bar was quiet – especially compared to the other drinking spots in the locale. Apparently it’s a pre-club place right now. I have a feeling that might change, and the Jones Family Project bar will become a destination in its own right. I have a feeling that it’s on the cusp of making an impact.
From * to *****
Wining and Dining *****
Boozing and schmoozing ***
Serving and Pouring ****
The Jones Family Project
78 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3JL
020 7739 1740