Chef-restaurateur Robin Gill has opened Darby’s, an oyster bar, bakery and grill on Embassy Gardens in London’s Nine Elms.
The restaurant is inspired by his jazz musician father, Earl ‘Darby’ Gill, and it celebrates his time spent touring America in the 1950s and early 1960s. The design is inspired by the Manhattan bars of that time, as shown in the burnished glass lampshades and fluted velvet banquettes.
Following Gill’s other London restaurants, the Dairy, Counter Culture and Sorella in Clapham, Darby’s will continue his ethos of a produce-led menu, offering pastries and cooked options for breakfast, and sandwiches such as salt beef and celeriac rémoulade bagels, and house-cured mortadella and Jersey milk ricotta on sourdough for lunch.
In the evening, guests can perch on mustard leather rattan stools at the green marble oyster bar for Dooncastle oysters, mussels and pickles. There is also a menu of dishes cooked over an open fire, including day-boat fish.
Opened 27 May
Chef-patron Robin Gill
Head chef Dean Parker
General manager Emma Underwood
Typical dishes Dexter beef with Worcester and mustard; and Oxford Sandy and Black pig with caramelised apple glaze
Gascon Connection, the group behind Michelin-starred Club Gascon in the City of London, has opened a site at Westfield White City’s refurbished Balcony Court. The restaurant offers raw bar and seasonal specials with a menu from chefs Pascal Aussignac and Julien Carlon.
Head chef Julien Carlon
Typical dishes King scallop crudo; smoked haddock mini doughnuts; crab and casarecce pasta
Craft bar and kitchen Fugitive Motel has opened in London’s Bethnal Green. The beer menu includes 14 craft beer lines, a range from east London breweries, kombucha on tap and sourdough pizzas. Co-founders David Burgess and Liam Tolan were in indie bands the Brights and the Light Assembly, respectively.
Design Patrick Clarkson, Gus Thatcher and CT Creative
Ooty in London has expanded into Birmingham’s Selfridges food hall. The menu is based on the regional cuisines of South India, inspired by the concept’s namesake, a hill-station town in the Nilgiri mountains.
Owners Pooja Nayak and Aseela Goenka
Head chef Manmeet Singh Bali
Typical dishes Hyderabadi dum biryani with chicken; kasoori murgh; coconut lime prawn; lime leaf kheema; and chettinad chicken
The Trafalgar St James hotel’s ground-floor bar has relaunched as Rockwell. The London bar offers a cocktail list influenced by the imports that arrived in London in the 17th and 18th centuries, alongside traditional English spirits.
Head bartender Marco Ercolano
Typical dishes Marinated chicken skewers with lemon and herbs; ceviche tacos with tuna and soy sauce; and salmon, ginger and avocado
The Curious Kitchen
Bristol’s Aztec hotel has relaunched its restaurant as the Curious Kitchen following refurbishment. The AA-rosette restaurant now focuses on techniques such as pickling, curing and smoking produce. The space features an alfresco terrace and 24-cover Garden Room.
Head chef Marc Payne
Typical dishes Smoked chilli and garlic-marinated chicken breast; beer-battered fish and chips; and burger with smoked jalapeño mayo
Vic’s & the Vine
Scottish hospitality group Buzzworks Holdings has transformed its Elliots bar and restaurant in Prestwick, South Ayrshire, into Vic’s & the Vine. The bar features a glass skylight, fireplace and murals by artist Michael Corr.
Owner Buzzworks Holdings
Typical dishes Seared sesame-crusted tuna loin; and prime Scotch steak burger, brioche bun, tomato and red onion salsa, coleslaw and fries