Runnning an award-winning restaurant, and one of East London’s favourite wine bars, masterminding the cocktails for the relaunch of the Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia Hotel, a mezcal launch and now a new restaurant in Clerkenwell… the talented team behind our beloved Sager + Wilde have been busy and DrinkUp talked to Marcis Dzelzainis - their genius drinks creator to get the scoop on the new Clerkenwell spot, Fare Bar + Canteen.
There’s been lots of buzz around the new restaurant, especially as it’s Marcis’ first time as a proper partner with the rock star of wine Michael Sager, so we wanted to find out what you can expect to see at their biggest venue to date… and it’s definitely a goody.
Set across two floors in the gloriuous old Moorlands building, you wouldn’t be mistaken in thinking that Fare Bar & Canteen had been there the whole time. A large space with that ubiquitous East London industrial feel, complete with wooden floors, lots of plants and nautical style lighting that wouldn’t look out of place on a container ship.
Designed to move from day through to night - this venue has much more of a coffee focus, having teamed up with Assembly from South London to make their own roasts. Upstairs will offer all-day dining (and coffee) from 7am, then later wil become more of an after-work drinks haven. Downstairs is the restaurant where you can see straight into the kitchen and smell all the amazing smoky flavours, plus there’s another bar and a wine room with a large wooden table for tastings.
Now what about the rest of the drinks… Taking centre stage upstairs is the horseshoe marble bar with a whopping 27 taps. On tap you can expect to see great wine with low to no sulphur selected by Michael, beer and six cocktails including a tasty Nitro Vodka Espresso… basically an espresso martini that pours like a Guinness, that’ll sit alongside Old Fashioneds, Negronis, a modern take on a Pina Colada and a crowd-pleasing Aperol Spritz. These cocktails are seriously well-priced, so we expect them to be a hit.
What’s Marcis’ favourite drink on the menu?... The Green Apple, made with Lillet Blanc, clarified apple juice and 30/40 Double Jus that is then carbonated, so it tastes like a fancy cider.
Down in the restaurant bar the focus will be experimenting with some alternative flavours, including a Celeriac Martini, a whisky highball with banana soda and a creamy milk punch. They’re planning to take a much more culinary approach to cocktails, to perfectly match the food.
With broadly middle-Eastern and Mediterrean vibes, coming from less explored areas (but with a touch of Head Chef, Thomas Raymond’s British roots), the menu includes a lot of veggie and vegan dishes and is made to be great-drinking food. Think flatbreads fresh from the pizza oven with pickled carrots and yoghurt butter, grilled skewers and lots of sharing dishes.
And what about Marcis’ favourite dish… it’s the Lahmacun, a simple flatbread with cheese and red peppers that he calls the Middle-Eastern equivalent of a Margarita.
One more thing we were dying to know was will there be any deals like the beloved £10 pasta and wine dinner special at Paradise Row?
The answer is YES!
There’ll be a happy hour EVERY DAY from 5-6pm with ½ price on all tap cocktails… so - we’ll see you there then.
Fare Bar + Canteen is currently running a soft launch until Sunday 11th November and officially launches on Monday 12th November.