Chef Anthony Demetre is to open a restaurant on the former site of the Balcon at the Sofitel London St James hotel.
Wild Honey St James will be an evolution of Wild Honey in Mayfair, which Demetre is selling 12 years after he launched it with his former business partner Will Smith. Wild Honey held a Michelin star continuously between 2008 and 2016.
Located on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place, the new restaurant will open at the end of May following a refurbishment by Jim Hamilton Design. The former restaurant Balcon opened in 2011, replacing Brasserie Roux run by Albert Roux.
Head chef Simon Woodrow will collaborate with Demetre on menus which will continue the contemporary French cooking, with nods to the British Isle, for which Wild Honey became well known. Woodrow previously worked at Wild Honey, as well as at the Dairy and Paradise Garage with Robin Gill, and Arbutus, the Michelin-starred restaurant Demetre opened in Soho with Smith and closed in 2016.
Typical dishes will include warm smoked eel and rillettes; traditional bouillabaisse; slow-cooked and crisp tripe with sweet spice, fried egg and raw cream; roast saddle of rabbit with slow-cooked shoulder cottage pie; tarte Tropezienne; classic English custard tart; and London wild honey ice cream.
A short set lunch and dinner menu and plat du jour will operate alongside an a la carte selection of dishes. The wine list will feature around 100 bins, while there will be four drinks available on tap – one red and one white wine, a Vermouth and a craft beer.
General manager will be Julien Davain, who has been at the five-AA-star, 183-bedroom Sofitel London St James for seven and a half years.
Last year Demetre, together with designer Michael Sodeau, opened Vermuteria, an all-day café and bar specialising in Vermouth in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross.
Demetre and Smith were awarded the Restaurateur of the Year – Independent Catey in 2008.