Evening Standard, 9 July
Fay Maschler says it may take a while for the new owners of The Criterion at 224 Piccadilly, London W1, to find their feet
Metro, 15 July
Marina O'Loughlin is more impressed with The Criterion, suggesting that she would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a showstopping room and a reasonable dinner
Let's have a look at the room. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. This gilded fantasy has been a restaurant since 1873 and it deserves to have National Heritage status slapped on it, never mind just Grade-II listingâ¦ Then there's our waiter. I reckon he would happily lick us clean if we asked him. He almost does backflips of joy at our selections: ‘The pork! Why, madame, it is just a lovely, lovely dish! You are ordering the great dishes of our new chef.' He makes us feel like intellectual giants because we've chosen the chef's signature dish. Gee, thanks. I think. Perhaps all this high camp is what makes the food fade a little into the background. We're so busy goggling at our new best friend that starters - some good grilled squid and a deconstructed raw beef dish that features a striking drizzle of salty caramel and quail's eggs - slip down almost unnoticed. (A meal for two with wine, water and service costs about £110. Rating: 3/5)
The Criterion - review in full >>
Time Out, 15 July
Veronica Simpson finds the idea of Frank's Café and Campari Bar on the 10th floor of the Peckham multi-storey car park at 95a Rye Lane, London SE15, as bonkers, but advises that its worth a visit before being dismantled on 30 September.
The service is charming if chaotic; keeping track of your food is a challenge, but staff are happy to dish up another portion when orders go astray. We tried delicious grilled lamb, grilled vegetables with anchovy dressing, ox heart with crunchy salad and a moist and glorious date and pecan cake. A Campari and Prosecco cocktail (£5) was horrid. But the view is spectacular. As the sky dims and the iconic architecture along the distant Thames lights up, like the coolest set of 'fairy lights' ever, this grim urban setting is transformed into a magical space.
Frank's Café and Campari Bar - review in full >>
By Janet Harmer
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