Oliver Dabbous (pronounced Daboo) began at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saison outside Oxford, then worked at Texture, known for its unusual Icelandic slant. Now he's set up his own place, Dabbous, in a large two-story building. There's a bar in the basement and an upstairs dining room for small plates of unusual dishes like roast crab with warm buttermilk and cabbage, or braised veal cheek with spelt, mixed onions and a light broth. It's all very well done at good value prices. Tues.-Sat. noon-11.30pm. Dabbous, 39 Whitfield St., London W1, 020-7323 1544.
Those familiar with the green and white awnings of Chez Leon in central Brussels will be delighted to see that a branch has opened in London in the former Cafe Mediterranean space. Its all-day menu of mussels and chips, among other piscatorial delights, is a good start to an evening --- note that the restaurant is handy for the theater. Belgian beer from Trappist monasteries, waffles with hot chocolate sauce, and more filling Belgian specialties are on offer. Mon.-Fri. 9am-11pm, Sat.-Sun. 11am-11pm. Leon de Bruxelles, 24 Cambridge Circus, London WC2, 020-7836 3500.
Opened on March 1, the new Russian restaurant Mari Vanna comes to Knightsbridge by way of St. Petersburg. It's based on ‘babushka cooking,' that is just like your grandmother used to prepare, though the influences might be a bit different. Armenian, Georgian and Uzbekistani touches are all to be found, along with a wide range of vodkas. It all takes place in a suitably homelike setting with elaborate chandeliers and Russian ornaments. Daily 7am to 1am. Mari Vanna, Wellington Court, 116 Knightsbridge, London SW1, 020-7581 5920.
Italian-style Aperitivos at Obika Mozzarella Bar
Obika Mozzarella Bar is offering a free tasting plate (fresh buffalo mozzarella, crostini with n'duja, a slice of artisan pizza, or a piece of stuffed focaccia) when you order a drink. The special is available Monday to Friday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 10am-10pm, Sun. noon-6pm. Obika Mozzarella Bar, 35 Bank St., London E14, 020-3239 8010.
Benares Teams with Top Chefs for Special Bar MenusChef Shuffle
Benares restaurant is bringing some additional talent to its kitchens this spring. They will join chef Atul Kochhar to produce a series of fusion menus to be served at the stylish Benares bar. The series will include Richard Corrigan of Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill on March 20, David Thompson of Nahm on April 16, and Nigel Haworth of Northcote on May 3 --- all will produce a special menu of small plates for the bar. Benares, 12A Berkeley Sq. House, London W1, 020-7629 8886.
After 16 years, Jeremy Lee has left the Blueprint Cafe to join Quo Vadis in Soho. The restaurant and bar at Quo Vadis have been lightened up along with the menu. Expect dishes like mallard and beetroot salad, a grill selection, and a pie of the day. Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean St., London W1, 020-7437 9585.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in London
Current News View archived news: March 2014 | February 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | November 2008 | October 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008