It was old news that Brasserie St. Jacques was opening in May on the site of Ristorante Fiori, and before that, the first Pétrus on St. James's St. What was kept secret was the involvement of legendary chef Pierre Koffman. He's taken responsibility for the kitchens, from recruiting the staff to overseeing the menus at the just-opened venue. In charge as head chef is Ashley Hancill who will produce a menu of traditional French dishes from oysters, snails and roast bone marrow with parsley salad to confit de canard, shoulder of lamb and veal kidneys in mustard. The all-day brasserie should pose a challenge to the ever popular Wolseley in Piccadilly. Brasserie St. Jacques, 33 St. James’s St., London SW1, 020-7839-1007.
Circus was the sister restaurant to the Avenue, but suffered a demise when D&D London bought the group after acquiring most of Sir Terence Conran's holdings. A favourite with the media, with an exclusive club downstairs, it's about to reopen as Bob Bob Ricard, designed by David Collins, who was apparently inspired by Edwardian first-class carriages. It's following the trend for big, bustling all-day brasseries, and will stay open to 3 a.m. Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James St., London W1, no phone available yet.
If you can't get into (or can't afford) a full blown meal at J. Sheekey, then you'll be delighted to learn of the forthcoming addition. The company has bought the next door building and is opening the J. Sheekey Oyster Bar in October. J. Sheekey Oyster Bar, St. Martin’s Court, London WC2, no phone available yet.
The Tenth, the restaurant at the top of the Royal Garden Hotel, closed a year ago, much missed by those who knew its good cooking, fabulous views and fun Saturday nights with orchestras of various sizes tempting diners onto the dance floor. It has now reopened as Min Jiang, a top-end Chinese restaurant, inspired by the restaurant at the sister hotel, Goodwood Park, in Singapore. Order the Beijing duck (in advance), graze through the menu or just go for the daily dim sum. Min Jiang, 2-24 Kensington High St., London W8 4PT, 020-7937 8000.
About to open at the top of Parkway in Camden Town, and handy for visitors to Regent's Park and rich Primrose Hillbillies, is Gordon Ramsay's York & Albany. Overseen by Angela Hartnett, who left The Connaught when it shut for refurbishment, this new venture is a restaurant with ten rooms in a former pub that has been closed for several years. A deli, pizza place and dining room for simple Italian food, it should prove popular, though the lack of a bar license means that it won't become the place for a drink in a relaxed atmosphere. York & Albany, 127-129 Pkwy., London NW1, no phone available yet.
Brothers Tom and Ed Martin have opened a new gastropub in Sloane Square. Called The Botanist after local naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, who amongst other ventures set up the delightful Chelsea Physic Garden, it's a pretty venue, designed to appeal to the upper-class locals and Sloaney Ponies. The Botanist, 7 Sloane Sq., London SW1, 020-7730 0077.
Angela Hartnett is busy this month with the opening of her flagship restaurant, Murano, in Mayfair. Opening at the end of June, it will serve classy Italian cooking. Murano, 20 Queen St., London W1.
The stylish Indian "tapas" restaurant, Imli, has launched a new, equally stylish bar where you can sip on the likes of a Bollywood Blast (gin, whisky, triple sec and fresh orange juice) or a classic margarita, all priced at £5.50, which must make these among the most reasonable cocktails in the West End. And if you're averse to alcohol, try one of the fresh fruit juices (£2.95 each), like mango and passion fruit blended with fresh mint or pomegranate and lemonade. Imli, 167-169 Wardour St., London W1, 020-7287 4243.
Pre-Performance NoshingChef Shuffle
Le Cercle, owned by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon and Cellar Gascon fame, has come up with a new pre-theatre menu, perfect for those going to the Royal Court Theatre for a play or Cadogan Hall for a concert. Three courses at £17.50 or £21.50 for four courses per person, plus tea and coffee, brings the likes of coriander and carrot velouté, crab and avocado or grilled beef onglet and chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. Le Cercle, 1 Wilbraham Pl., London SW1, 020-7901 9999.
Check back soon for more news.
Check back soon for more news.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in London
Current News View archived news: May 2015 | March 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | 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