We’ll let ‘Hot Dinners’ give a guide to the newcomers…
Here’s a rundown of the freshman class of 2012 and some soon to be. We can’t say any are the bee’s knees yet, but at least you know that London is swinging with new eats, baby:
In a nutshell: Oysters from Geronimo
Where is it? 1 Angel Lane, EC4
Why should you care? This new opening will be the flagship for Gernomo pubs and will be opening in the ground floor of the Nomura bank in the city. The food will focus on seafood and traditional British dishes, there will be an extensive wine list (to be expected, given the neighbours).
In a nutshell: Steaks in Islington
Where is it? Essex Road (by Islington Green)
Why should you care? This new opening promises to be “the first and only steakhouse in Islington” also serving retro cocktails and has taken over the premises after the demise of S&M on Essex Road.
In a nutshell: Texture Head Chef goes it alone
Where is it? Whitfield Street, W1
Why should you care? Ollie Dabbous, ex Head Chef of Mayfair’s Texture (and also former of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons) has opened his own Modern European restaurant in the space that previously held famed Internet cafe Cyberia. It has a street-level dining room and basement bar. The menu will change seasonally, and feature a range of small dishes priced between £4 and £14.
In a nutshell: Italian wine & food in Spitalfields
Where is it? 8a Artillery Passage, E1
Why should you care? Seating only 25, this is a venture by Nick Grossi and Grossi Wines (who are curiously unrelated). There will be 30 wines on offer from Grossi and some artisanal Italian beers alongside the option for antipasti or a full meal from the kitchen (whose chef originates from Sicily).
In a nutshell: Moules frites in London
Where is it? Cambridge Circus, London WC2
Why should you care? Belgian restaurant chain Chez Léon has launched a Léon De Bruxelles moules frites joint that offers a range of Flemish classics including eleven types of mussel dishes, frites with mayonnaise, fish soup with rouille and gruyère cheese and Carbonnade of beer braised beef. For desserts there are a selection of waffles as well as other continental treats. The London branch has a special cloudy Belgian beer brewed especially for it alongside a longer list of micro-brewery beers and wines.
In a nutshell: Another shack loses its wheels
Where is it? Soho
Why should you care? The Pitt Cue Co. barbecue shack on the South Bank was one of the sensations of Summer 2011, cited by many as the best example of Texas barbecue in London. When it retired late 2011, there was always a promise of more to come, and now they’ve opened a permanent place in the heart of Soho offering more barbecued goodness. Expect this to be popular on the scale of Meat Liquor.
In a nutshell: Classic Thai gets a riverside view
Where is it? Imperial Wharf
Why should you care? This Thai restaurant has been in Fulham Broadway for years and for its 25th birthday it has changed location, moving to a riverside premises on Imperial Wharf which promises to be just as extravagant as the original. Expect a revamped menu, based around cooking of the “past, present & future” and a new cookery school.
In a nutshell: Rowley Leigh at the pictures
Where is it? Whiteleys, west London
Why should you care? Cafe Anglais chef Leigh will be Consultant Chef at the ODEON Whiteley’s posh new boutique cinema, The Lounge. The luxury film experience will feature five cinemas each with just 50 reclining leather seats. Our favourite bit? The fact that every seat has a call button allowing you to order off the menu without taking your eyes off the screen.
In a nutshell: Chelsea fine dining reopens in relaxed mode
Where is it? Elystan Street, SW3
Why should you care? Michelin-starred restaurant ditches the starchy look and goes for a more informal feel. The 52-seat restaurant has been designed by Turkish interior designer Hakan Ezer. There are new à la carte and tasting menus to go with the new decor including six, eight and ten course options that are also available with matching wines.
In a nutshell: Jeremy Lee comes to Soho
Where is it? 26-29 Dean Street, London W1
Why should you care? Quo Vadis has undergone a mini refurb over Christmas to considerably lighten the room, after which famed former Blueprint Cafe chef Jeremy Lee has taken over in the kitchen. Expect this to be a very hot ticket.