Two Lights chef Chase Lovecky brings his clever take on modern American cuisine to London
Two Lights chef Chase Lovecky shares his clever take on modern American cuisine
Anew neighbourhood restaurant in a corner of London that’s best known for its Vietnamese cuisine, Two Lights is the latest from The Clove Club alumni and Maine export Chase Lovecky, with a sophisticated and so-called “modern American” focus. The décor is stark – whitewashed brick walls, clothless tables and not a soft furnishing in sight. But a peek-through kitchen with a wood-fired oven glowing in the back, high shelves lined with weird and wonderful pickles, intriguing wines, trendy creepers and ferns, and foodie bedtime reading keeps things interesting. Also, staff seem to genuinely care – whether that’s ensuring your glass of (great) wine is served at the perfect temperature, or happily guiding you through their menu highlights.
The menu is made up of small plates that get bigger the further down you head – aim to order around six savoury plates between two. On our visit, we spy lots of diners ordering huge globes of roasted artichoke, whose leaves are plucked and dunked in a sunflower seed miso dip. Our server guides us, instead, in the direction of flamed bonito. Barely licked by the smoky flames, the tuna is sashimi-soft, and perked up with the help of pickled onion, mustard, some marvellous crunchy bits and the rounded warmth of freshly snipped chives.
The dishes this restaurant will become best known for, though, are a sardine katsu sandwich and crab atop beef-fat ‘chips’. The former, a panko-battered fish (tail poking out from one end) sandwiched between crustless, white slices, is brilliant. The chips are supercrisp layered fingers topped with delicately sweet picked and dressed white crab meat, with sharpness from tiny pickled elderflower buds. Custard tart with smoked caramel is a clever remake of a classic – with all the wobble of the original still intact – while a cheese plate of Lincolnshire Poacher with shards of homemade oatcakes, and a fragrant apple and shisho jelly, rounded everything off nicely. Top tip – don’t skip the sides. Roasted carrots dusted with fennel pollen and draped in melting lardo were simply ace. twolights.restaurant