ADDRESS71 Nile Street, London N1 7RD
Chef Joe Laker has made a name for himself in some of London's top kitchens, most recently Fenn in Fulham (RIP, sweet prince). Now he's launching his first solo project: Counter 71, an intimate 16-seat chef's table in Shoreditch that's all about the ingredients of the British Isles. Minimalism is the name of the game here. The pristine marble countertop will seat just 16 people a night - and with dishes like brown crab donuts, eel tarts with fried seaweed and caviar, and cheese and Marmite scones, you're gonna wanna make sure your backside is filling one of those chairs.
But the bit that's really got us jazzed? It's the dark, moody bar tucked away downstairs, open for walk-ins and standalone bookings. Lowcountry is named after the US region spanning mid-coast Georgia to North Carolina - the home of some epic bourbon and rye distilleries, FYI - so it's no surprise this place has a thing for American whiskey. Bartender Ryan Sheehan, who hails from the American South himself, is running the show, and he's dreamed up a list of drinks divided into three sections: Signature, Historical and Classic.
The cocktails will use ingredients and culinary techniques from the kitchen upstairs, so get ready for the likes of the Hot Tomato (tomato water, jalapeño-infused tequila, basil oil and salt) and the Fat Fashioned (bacon-washed bourbon, maple syrup and creole bitters). Or bring a gin-loving mate and order the Martini flight for two, featuring five Martinis spanning 1888 to 2023. Oh, and the bar snacks are gonna be epic, drawing from Joe's childhood in the American South. Shrimp and grits prawn toast, yes please...
Opening in June