Bjorn van der Horst has unveiled details of his forthcoming restaurant, which is set to open in Farringdon in the winter, Caterer can reveal.
The Michelin-starred chef, who left Gordon Ramsay Holdings earlier this year after the closure of La Noisette, is to launch the Eastside Inn on the site of the former Vic Naylor bar and restaurant on St John Street in November.
The restaurant will be divided into two sections, a 36-seat fine dining venture on the one side and a 55-seat more casual bistro on the other. Each will have a separate entrance and the two will be divided by an open centrally located kitchen with bar from which the food for both parts of the restaurant will be sent out. Two kitchens located in the downstairs of the building will be used for the preparation of the food.
Chef-patron van der Horst will oversee both kitchens together with head chef Nick Ward, who worked with him at La Noisette and previously spent three years at Pétrus under Marcus Wareing.
The food at the fine dining part of the Eastside Inn will be contemporary, with three-, five- and seven-course menus on offer and the average spend at around £90 per head. The bistro side of the restaurant will offer a traditional menu with classic French dishes and the average cost of meal being around £30 including wine, which will be offered by the bottle, glass and carafe.
The Eastside Inn will also include a 12-seat private dining room as well as a lounge area where live jazz will be played late nights on weekends. Front of house will be overseen by van der Horst's wife Justine, who will be restaurant director, as well as restaurant manager Fabrice Hequet, who previously worked with van der Horst at the Greenhouse and La Noisette.
Van der Horst told Caterer that while Farringdon is already a great culinary destination he hopes to raise the bar with the Eastside Inn.
"Competition is always good - the more restaurants the better and by raising the bar perhaps we'll be able to attract further top end operators to the area," he said.
"London is still doing very well even under the current economic climate and if you offer a good product and do a good job, the rest will follow."
By Kerstin Kuhn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kuhn here.