loti eats | les nenettes
If you want to feel like you’ve gone on holiday to the south of France without having to leave Hackney, then head for Les Nenettes. This French restaurant, run by an all-female team (hence the name – les nenettes means “the girls” en francais) and perched on the corner of Clapton Square really does an excellent job of making you feel like you’ve left the city, especially when it’s a gorgeous evening and the terrace doors are open.
It’s all about classic, rustic French food that’s simple but confidently done, and you’ll pretty much want everything from the menu. The roquefort, pear, endive and walnut salad was a big, well balanced bowlful, whilst our other starter of scallops with verjus, cucumber and lemon aioli was the perfect spring dish, and pretty as a picture presented in the half shell.
Make sure you check out the daily special – it was tapenade roasted monkfish with crushed potatoes and sauce vierge on our visit and it was a winner. Obviously this won’t be there every time but we also absolutely loved the duck magret with morels and tagliatelle. Add a side of green beans and a glass of French wine and you’ve got a pretty perfect dinner right there.
You may think that you don’t have room for dessert but both the St Honoré (a big choux bun filled with cream and a crunchy caramel top) and the black cherry gateau Basque, essentially a cherry tart with creme fraiche, were both incredibly light despite being mainly pastry. So basically don’t skip the desserts.
Clapton is full of little neighbourhood gems and Les Nenettes fits right in, so it’s well worth dropping by.
19 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0NS