Arros QD, Fitzrovia
Three-Michelin-starred Valencian chef Quique Dacosta has opened the doors of his first restaurant outside of Spain. Located in Fitzrovia, the project showcases Dacosta’s passion for rice as well as premium local ingredients. The restaurant has been designed by lauded Barcelonian studio Lázaro Rosa-Violán and showcases an open kitchen and an immersive paella counter which gives diners views of the eight-metre flame grill upon which rice is cooked. An entire section of Arros QD’s menu is devoted to this humble ingredient. Highlights include paella valenciana, a traditional take on the dish which includes rabbit chop, chicken and butter beans, all cooked over a wood fire using a variety of timbers to complement each dish. More contemporary rice dishes, highlighting seasonal British ingredients, include chapas filled with wood pigeon breast, wild mushrooms, rosemary and porcini aioli. The rest of the menu features innovative starters and a selection of meat, vegetable and fish dishes which range from larger pieces cooked over fire or charcoal to dishes using more vanguard techniques. A modern chef’s table offers the best views of Dacosta at work.
64 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8NQ
Wild Honey, St James’s
Acclaimed chef Anthony Demetre has reopened his much-missed Wild Honey in St James’s, on the former site of The Balcon at Sofitel London St James. The restaurant offers a taste of Demetre’s highly regarded modern European cooking, which combines classic French techniques with fine seasonal produce. The kitchen is overseen by head chef Simon Woodrow who previously worked with Demetre at Wild Honey and prior to that at The Dairy and Paradise Garage. Serving everything from breakfast through to dinner (the hand-cut macaroni ‘cacio e pepe’ with crisp chicken wings is a must-order), the space is atmospheric: picture double-height ceilings, statement lighting, an eclectic mix of modern art and a striking black and white marble floor made of nearly 17,000 hand-lain tiles. Adjacent to the restaurant, the intimate St James Bar has also undergone a transformation and now features a marble bar top, dark blue velvet banquettes and warm lighting. Overseen by bar manager Enzo Sigaut, the drinks offering includes classic and signature contemporary cocktails alongside a new bar menu offering oysters, cheese and charcuterie.
8 Pall Mall, St James's, SW1Y 5NG
The Grand Duchess, Paddington
The Grand Duchess is a barge moored on the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Central which doubles up as a floating restaurant. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the team focuses on British fish delivered daily from Cornwall and a drinks list that centres on sparkling wine. The restaurant is the second offering from the London Shell Co. and is adjacent to its cruising restaurant boat The Prince Regent. The seafood-heavy menu offers a nod to British classics – think beer battered lobster served with chip shop curry sauce or crisp pork belly with cockles and laverbread. The team focuses on wine producers with low productions who make wine in an ecologically conscious way – and each can be matched seamlessly with dishes across the menu. In the party mood? At the bow of the boat, there’s a secluded banqueting table for parties of six to 13. The table can be yours for the whole of lunch or dinner and offers a la carte dining or the chef’s menu of the day.
Sheldon Square, Paddington, W2 6DL
Fugitive Motel, Bethnal Green
Fugitive Motel is a new craft bar and kitchen in east London. Serving specialty coffee from local roasters Climpson & Sons each morning alongside a selection of freshly baked pastries, the all-day café with co-working space rolls into the evening with drinks at the bar, including a selection of low and no-alcohol craft beers and kombucha on tap, and speciality sourdough pizza from noon until late. The unit runs alongside a row of unoccupied rail arches which are set to be redeveloped into more restaurants, similar to neighbouring Paradise Row. Taking its design influence from 50s-style West Coast motels, the 140-cover space is decked out in mid-century pastel colours and an abundance of plants. The pizza lounge boasts stripped-back concrete flooring and high industrial ceilings, surrounded by six-person sharing booths which run along the floor-to-ceiling windows, each with their own motel-style ‘vacancy’ light which can be turned on or off depending on whether you’d like others to join you in your booth. On hot days, the greenery seeps outdoors onto a summer terrace.
199 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 0EL
Gold, Notting Hill
A new neighbourhood restaurant and late-night bar has opened on the site of the renowned Portobello Gold public house in Notting Hill. Spearheaded by a team of local industry heavyweights including head chef Theo Hill (The River Café) and front of house team Alex Ghalleb (Pizza East) and Arez Akgundogdu (Soho House), the modern European spot focuses on produce-led sharing plates and minimal-process cooking in wood ovens or over open flame – think nettle ravioli with sheep’s ricotta and sorrel followed by wood-roasted whole sea bream with wild oregano and capers. Modern bohemian interiors make use of the original shell of the building for an edgy look, while contemporary furniture, aged metals and indoor trees soften the space to create a warm environment. With a retractable roof and landscaped with mature trees, the garden room offers an atmospheric spot for dinner while the second floor is taken up by a private party room.
95-97 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 2QB
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