The Eagle, a five-minute walk from Gray's Inn and an outpost of respectability in a world of warehouses, was one of the first bars to take pub food out of the realms of sausages and beans and into competition with restaurants. This place, huge though its rooms are, usually has people hanging from the rafters pretty much throughout the evening. Getting from a table to the loo is a bit like a journey in the rush hour, only faintly more leery. There is also a gallery upstairs, open Thursday to Sunday, 11am-6pm, so if your lunch date's late you can wander around there feeling faintly superior.
159 Farringdon Rd EC1