Your guide to Gourmet Restaurants in London
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Covent Garden - L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
One of the capital’s most impressive wining and dining propositions, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon comprises two restaurants and Le Salon Bar (see separate review) set over three storeys. The ground floor L’Atelier is where the real action is; a slick (but very dark) Japanese-inspired red and black dining room where diners perch on stools overlooking an open kitchen. Meals are made up of a series of faultlessly executed grazing dishes that display astute and assured flavours: a plate of plump Palourdes clams stuffed with garlic & mushrooms, a deliciously decadent mini foie gras burger, and teppanyaki-grilled calf’s sweetbread studded with a bay leaf are among the highlights. Efficient staff offer menu guidance, but while L’Atelier has been applauded on almost all fronts, there is one area which receives unanimous criticism: exceptionally high prices that leave many visitors concluding that they’d ‘only return as long as someone else was paying’ – though a new set lunch menu (two/three courses for £27/£35) does offer a cheaper way in. Upstairs, La Cuisine serves three-course meals from a similar menu in a more traditional, but less appealing, setting.
As you might expect from Joel Robuchon’s name, this mid-sized & expertly chosen list is dominated by France. It’s laid out regionally, but as well as the classic French regions, the selection from the south and south west really stands out. There are also notable wines from Italy and Australia. Choice, however, is limited unless you’re prepared to spend more than £40. Best Buy White 2006 Valencay, Domaine Sebastian Vaillant, Loire Valley, France, £28. Best Buy Red 1999 Chateau Bouscasse, Madiran, France, £30.Born in Poitiers in 1945, Joel Robuchon originally intended to join the priesthood. But family difficulties forced him to find work and at 15 he took on an apprenticeship at the Relais de Poitiers. In 1966 Robuchon became the official chef of La Tour de France, where he learnt a variety of diverse regional techniques. At 28, he became head chef at Harmony-Lafayette, overseeing 3,000 meals a day. In 1981 he launched Jamin in Paris and within three years had received three Michelin stars. In 1996 he left his Parisian restaurant, but maintained the direction of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Tokyo. He opened another L’Atelier in Paris in 2003 and has since established Ateliers in Las Vegas, New York & London.
13-15 West Street WC2H 9NE Phone: 020 7010 8600 Email: email@example.com
Covent Garden - Christopher's
It’s all class and no pretence at this
swish American restaurant housed in a stunning Grade-II listed Victorian
building. Excellent views towards Waterloo Bridge form a pleasant
backdrop in the contemporary dining room where the food offers a modern
take on US classics: blackened salmon with jambalaya risotto and
luscious amaretto peach Melba, say. Superb steaks are the mainstay of
the menu, including great surf and turf (with Maine lobster) and an
almighty 22oz prime rib chop, though more continental offerings such as
perfectly rendered sea bass fillet with fennel and roasted red peppers
and anchovy dressing are equally good. Polite and competent staff make
good recommendations from the extensive wine list.
London W1 - Ozer
Charlotte Street - Passione
Mayfair - Pattersons
away in a tiny Mayfair street at the top end of Savile Row, Patterson's
provides an elegant setting for fine dining, complemented by slick
professional service. The bar area, complete with lobster and tropical
fish tanks, leads to a spacious, long, narrow dining room with oak
flooring, high-backed leather chairs and white walls enlivened by
colourful artwork You can relax here and peruse the menu's modern
approach - underpinned by a classical French theme and founded on
carefully-sourced, tip-top local and organic produce. Father-and-son
team Raymond and Tom produce dishes that surprise and delight with their
flavour and presentation. Expect loin of lamb in filo pastry with green
spring vegetables and curried crab mousseline, and perhaps a pineapple
and creme fraiche sorbet millefeuille with fruit salad to finish.
London W1 - Pied A Terre
This class act
continues to run on top form with some superlative and exciting cooking.
The frontage is intimate and
unassuming, while the sleek interior is fittingly stylish and glamorous.
The decor is contemporary and oozes understated luxury, with cream suede
and rosewood furniture and architectural glass combining harmoniously.
There's also a bar upstairs to relax both pre- and post-meal, featuring
leather seats and art by Hamilton, Blake and Hodgkin. Service is as
impeccable as ever, led by excellent host David Moore. Oz
born chef Shane Osborn continues to deliver his brand of stylish and
creative modern French cuisine; it is sophisticated refined and brimful
of class and emphatic flavours, using top