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January 2011 Archive

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A Little of What You Fancy is a pretty café that has opened in rapidly gentrifying Kingsland Road. It's full of attractive, odd pieces of furniture and champions British cooking. Good fresh, local ingredients produce the likes of roast chicken for lunch and slow-braised oxtail for dinner. It's great for breakfast too, and the cakes (eat here or take away) are worth the journey alone. Tues.-Wed. 9am-11pm; Thurs.-Fri. 9am-midnight; Sat. 10am-midnight; Sun. noon-10pm. A Little of What You Fancy, 464 Kingsland Rd., London E8, 020-7275 0060.
The dining room of Viajante Fashionable London is moving East. If you don't believe this, then book at Viajante in the former town hall of Bethnal Green, now the wildly chic Town Hall Hotel. Portuguese-born Nuno Mendes trained at elBulli in Spain, so you know what to expect. Or rather you don't - this is a meal of exciting, innovative discoveries. Set menus run from £60 to £85 and the restaurant is fully booked for months ahead. Lunch & Dinner daily. Viajante, Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2, 020-7871 0461.
Tom Aikens, whose eponymous restaurant is one of London's best, has been busy lately. Having taken over the outdoor terrace and deli at Somerset House, he's now opened a second Tom's Kitchen. It follows the Chelsea model (why change it when it's such a success?). So expect gutsy, first-rate modern British cooking like pork belly and lentils. It's also a great venue for breakfast and weekend brunches. Breakfast & Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat., Brunch Sat.-Sun. Tom's Kitchen, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, 020-7845 4646.
Les Deux Salons is the kind of brasserie you always hope to find in Paris. It's very smart with the right amount of brass, mirrors, wooden tables and chairs, and it serves some of the best food in town. It comes from chef Anthony Demetre and Will Smith, who are also behind notable London restaurants Wild Honey and Arbutus. This new venture produces all the classics - sweet onion tart and tête de veau with tartar sauce as well as British favorites like monkfish with winter vegetables and calf's liver with greens. It swings along with pace and grace. Daily noon-11pm. Les Deux Salons, 40-42 William IV St., London WC2, 020-7420 2050.
Giorgio Locatelli, whose Locanda Locatelli is such a runaway success, has collaborated with two of his former chefs to open Tinello in Pimlico in the former L'Incontro. It's a chic looking place with its wooden floors; well-spaced, crisply laid tables; and bare brick walls. Just the venue for upmarket, sophisticated Italian cooking. Follow the classic route of a three-course meal or go for the latest trend in London dining, small plates and pasta dishes. The mainly Italian wine list is a wonderful lesson in what the country can offer. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Tinello, 87 Pimlico Rd., London SW1, 020-7730 3663.

News Bytes

Something New in Soho: Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi has produced some of London's best delis and one restaurant up in Islington. Now he's about to open a new standalone restaurant just off Piccadilly Circus in what started life as Peter Gordon's Sugar Club. Opening in February, it will be an all-day brasserie following his popular Mediterranean/Middle Eastern style of cooking.
Oliver Peyton's New Projects at the Royal Academy of Arts
Irish restaurateur Oliver Peyton is all over London with Inn the Park and restaurants in shops and museums under his Peyton & Byrne group. Now he's taken over all four spaces at the Royal Academy of Arts. The main bar/restaurant still has its splendid proportions and art on the walls, but he's introduced an all-day British-style tapas menu. It's very user-friendly and open all hours for a cup of coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and full scale dinner. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1, 020-7300 5608.
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