The Grain Store, Granary Square

Photo 12-07-2013 19 21 53The name of Bruno Loubet’s new venture may be a little concerning to us grain-avoiders, but fear not, they’ve scrubbed the flour well out of this converted warehouse in the new N1C postcode – leaving behind a fabulous foodie destination with an excellent gluten-free offering.

It’s rare to find a restaurant that genuinely does something different, but there are gourmet surprises aplenty on the menu; which if you have been to Loubet’s other, much more ‘French’ offering at The Zetter is not at all what you might expect. Vegetables are the star of the show with highly innovative dishes making a great number of gluten free options with also many for vegetarians and the dairy-free too.

To my delight I was presented with a comprehensive allergy menu, including those dishes best avoided if you are dairy-free, nut-free or pregnant too. There is also the most exciting cocktail menu you will have ever seen – if you’ve been to the Zetter Townhouse (a favourite B haunt as we celebrated our wedding there) you will be familiar with Tony Conigliario’s unique approach to mixology – with homemade tinctures, bitters and infusions aplenty that are paired with dishes on the food menu. The ‘savoury’ pumpkin and de-sugared maple syrup bellini sounded especially delicious. It’s well worth arriving early to enjoy one or two on the open square or in the airy, informal bar.

Photo 12-07-2013 19 30 09Service was speedy and friendly; and the food was as light and zingy as the surroundings. I whet my appetite with a well-balanced salad of peaches, salted watermelon and salmon. My main was a heartier affair – blimey, Mr. Loubet had made quinoa tasty for the first time! It arrived smokey and spicy in a ‘tamale’ with corn. It made a curious but satisfying pairing with a chewy and sticky pork belly, tangy with tamarind. Gluten-eating husband’s tender lamb with spiced mash was more traditional, hearty and well-balanced.

No-one got bread, so no feeling left out for me – and Bruno knows that fruit is not a pudding. Apparently, though, tomatoes are! We shared a goats milk pannacotta with caramelised cherry tomatoes.  Heavy on the vanilla, and more like a white chocolate mousse than a true pannacotta – but it was the perfect, light end to a fantastic exploration for the tastebuds. Recommended.

Food: 9/10

Service: 8/10 (a little too quick at times)

GF Ability: 10/10

Photo 12-07-2013 19 42 52

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