Bloomberg, 30 January
Richard Vines visits Corrigan's Mayfair, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1
I arranged to meet a friend for cocktails at Scott's and arrived before 7 p.m. "You can't just have a drink here," the manager said. I glanced at the row of empty seats along the counter and blushed as he warmed to his theme. "We're a restaurant, not a bar." That cleared things up. I must have thought I had wandered into an All Bar One pub. No one would question Scott's wisdom in strictly observing Westminster licensing regulations. It's the frosty tone that's unwise, especially at a time like this. Suitably chastened, I retreated to Corrigan's Mayfair, the new London flagship of the Irish chef Richard Corrigan, one of the most ebullient figures in the hospitality business. I recalled a comment he made when I interviewed him in November.
Evening Standard, 11 February
Fay Maschler visits The Commander Porterhouse & Oyster Bar, 47 Hereford Road, London W2
Slug and Lettuce. Don't you think that these days the chain seems, well, a bit sluggy and lettucy (as in frilly garnish with the burger)? What was, I believe, the very first Slug and Lettuce has reopened as The Commander Porterhouse & Oyster Bar modelled - loosely - on Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver. Operations director of The Commander, Canadian Michael Parker, has observed that gastropubs grew out of the last recession. We are left to infer that an establishment complete with flower shop, organic butcher and fishmonger and a function room upstairs that can be used as a crèche or ballet school is a natural riposte to this current downturn. The first meal I tried was on a Saturday evening when there was a 25 per cent discount (now gone). The joint was jumping, incredibly noisily, and, as my friend Annalena remarked, "everyone seems to be under 25, idle and wealthy" giving the lie to the credit crunch.
The Commander Porterhouse & Oyster Bar - review in full >>
Metro, 10 February
Marina O'Loughlin visits Kettner's, 29 Romilly Street, London
There have been howls of outrage about the relaunch of the redoubtable Kettner's in Soho. The anguished outpourings issuing from a bunch of largely male, middle-aged pundits are so pained you'd think their mothers had slung on the fishnets and taken to hanging around King's Cross. Can't be that bad, surely. Can it? Anyone who's ever floated around the loucher fringes of the West End will inevitably have wound up in Kettner's at one point or another: propping up the famous champagne bar, maybe, or necking an anomalous Pizza Express dinner. I remember once having a bizarre, potato-based pizza there; nobody really went for the cheap and filling food, the draw was the weird glamour. Other visits were defined only by extravagant inebriation. It was that kind of place.
Kettner's - review in full >>
Time Out, 12 February
Guy Dimond visits Osteria dell'Angolo, 61 Marsham Street, London SW1
Now we know the most efficient way for a House of Lords peer to run up a stately expenses tab: by eating out in Westminster. On our visit this smart Italian restaurant was packed with grey-suited parliamentarians, senior civil servants and Whitehall mandarins, many of them talking shop and looking as if they think nothing of spending sixty quid per head on expenses every weeknight. Lucky them. This 'corner tavern' is in reality a full-blown fine dining restaurant from restaurateur Claudio Pulze, who has been responsible for creating more good restaurants in London's than Terence Conran and Gordon Ramsay put together. Chef Michele Brogi's starters are a clue of what's to come: pretty, carefully-presented dishes using simple but good ingredients.
Osteria dell'Angolo - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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