Bones lies on the part of the Kingsland Road that’s close enough to Old Street to make it a Shoreditch, not Dalston, date. With this comes the benefits of smoldering lighting vs. Vietnamese neons, cocktails in glasses, not beakers, and a menu with enough organic wines and craft beers to make it hip, but the necessary burrata, pigeon and duck confit to set a tone of refined dining. During the day, locals munch fresh salads from the neighboring Grocery in a well lit functional setting. But at nighttime, Bones transforms into a gorgeous Modern European supper joint, with cutesy booths, low hanging lights, soothing wood paneled walls and proper martini glasses (so rare in this neck of the woods).
Although it’s meant to be a rotisserie chicken joint, the rest of the menu is far more exciting. Share everything and start with two Gin Garden Martinis (gin, elderflower, apple, cucumber). To begin, the pigeon breast salad with hazelnuts is a winner, well matched with giant green olives. For mains, the roasted rack of lamb is phenomenal, well matched with 2 or 3 sharing plates, such as the squid and chili potatoes, lentil and halloumi salad and roasted aubergine with feta. And chips, lots of chips – they are very well made here and skinny enough to wolf down elegantly.
Book this for a Friday night date. Meet your date at Old Street station and ‘spontaneously’ decide upon a beaker of red wine on the benches outside Shoreditch Grind. This is an immediate relaxer. Don’t bother finishing the drinks, then wander all the way down Old Street to Kingsland Road, chatting casually about the work week whilst starting to wind down. Make a mental note of the Old Shoreditch Station and Love Shake as you pass, then arrive at the restaurant and claim your booth. You could sit opposite each other but it’s much more charming if, after the cocktails, you slide onto their side for the remainder of the meal. Spend the next 90 minutes enjoying the food and offering last bites to your date (“oh no you have that one”). Share just one ball of salted caramel ice cream and then make a move to the bars you bookmarked. As it’s a Friday, and you’re full, you may be getting sleepy so order a bottle of red at the next place, polish it off, lazily kiss, and call it a night.
Not that packed out mid week but it’s only a matter of time.