Bloomberg, 30 January
Richard Vines visits Relais de Venise de l'Entrecote, 5 Throgmorton Street, London EC2
Only salad and steak are served and you can't choose what kind of steak. Medium rare is not an option. There are no sides and you can't book a table. It's like Monty Python's Spam cafe, without the laughs. Go along to the new brasserie of Relais de Venise de l'Entrecote in the City of London and the joke may be on you. It's so popular, diners are cramming the tables just as they do at the French chain's Marylebone branch, which opened in September 2005. The original l'Entrecote Porte-Maillot, just off the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, is famed for its lines of expectant diners at busy periods.
Evening Standard, 4 February
Fay Maschler visits Dolada, 13 Albemarle Street, London W1
My chum Kevin at Allen's the butchers in Mount Street has always been urging me to go to the restaurant Mosaico: "They've got the best meat, Fay." Well, he should know, he supplied it. Somehow a basement in Mayfair, which I understood was a favourite of businessmen with accommodating expense accounts, never appealed and I didn't visit.
Lately I heard that there was a new chef at that same address who comes from a family with a restaurant and hotel in Veneto that has been in their ownership for four generations. Mosaico, which had closed for a short period of grooming, reopened last week as Dolada, the name of the albergo/ristorante on the slopes of Dolada mountain overlooking Santa Croce Lake that belongs to young chef Riccardo de Pra's parents. The Mayfair restaurant ownership apparently stays the same.
Dolada - review in full >>
Metro, 4 February
Marina O'Loughlin visits Bob Bob Ricard
I go all over the world in search of food-oriented enlightenment, eating snake and preserved snow frog fallopian tubes with the best of 'em (no, honestly). I read everything I can get my hands on, even the 3,000-word burblings of the Internet's worst offending foodie bores; I check and cross-check restaurants to make sure I'm never stabbing in the dark. But I'm prepared to dent any possible credentials by saying I love the deliciously daft Bob Bob Ricard. There may be rogue sightings of the likes of grouse and Loch Duart salmon on the menu but the overwhelming impression is that it's been designed by Dennis The Menace's hungry older brother. Look! Shepherd's pie! Breakfast soufflé! Egg mayonnaise! Ribena and milk! A smoothie made from Farley's Rusks, ginger snaps and Maltesers! Other, more po-faced establishments might announce the presence of steaks or fine wines; BBR promises sherries, soufflés and jellies.
Bob Bob Ricard - review in full >>
Time Out, 5 February
Guy Dimond visits Lola Rojo, 140 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6
A new wave of Spanish cooking - cocina nueva - has been sweeping northern Spain over the past few years. Restaurants such as Arzak - in San Sebastian, heart of Spain's Basque country - have reached international fame, but there are now scores of smaller restaurants (that is, those without three Michelin stars) that are also serving a succession of small tasting plates and reinventing traditional tapas. London's Spanish restaurants have lagged far behind Spain's finest, but there are still good examples of cocina nueva to be found here. One of the best is Lola Rojo in Battersea, an affordable neighbourhood restaurant whose only drawback is the close-packed tables and chairs; you virtually have to breathe in as the waitresses pass. But the tapas, a mix of traditional with modern, are sublime.
Lola Rojo - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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