The Times, 5 April
Giles Coren visits Café Boheme, London W1
It's funny, I'd completely forgotten that my friends used to call me "Smiley". I was sitting here, wondering where to go for dinner, and with whom, and how best to lever the evening into my campaign for smilier restaurants, when the phone rang and a voice said: "Hi, Smiley." Smiley. Only my friend Matt, whose voice it was on the phone, calls me that now. And his girlfriend, Sarah. And their oldest child, Maya, my goddaughter, who runs excitedly to the door when I go round, shouts: "Smiley's here!", and then heads off to do whatever little girls do until their godfather, who has only once bought them a birthday present, and doesn't seem to observe Christmas or Easter, has left.
The Guardian, 5 March
Matthew Norman visits L'Autre Pied, London W1
If the sweet science of restaurant reviewing were mystifyingly revolutionised in such a way that it was conducted by way of a prime minister's questions-style dialogue between critic and audience, the answer to any inquiry about today's venue would be, "I refer the Honourable Reader to the review I gave some weeks ago."This is the near-monthly piece about the lavishly gifted chef who undermines his talent by targeting it less at punters than at those plucky little chompers from Michelin. The latest place to warrant the ritualistic write-up is L'Autre Pied, which, as the name cunningly implies, is an offshoot of the double-starred Pied Á Terre, where chef Marcus Eaves perfected his craft under the much-revered Shane Osborne.
L'Autre Pied - Guardian review in full >>
The Independent on Sunday, 6 April
Terry Durack visits Launceston Place, London W8
May I offer you a small pre-review before I serve the main review? What with the current trend for pre-desserts and post-appetisers, it seems appropriate, and will cost you no extra. So your pre-review today is Kensington Place, closely followed by the main review of Launceston Place. Both iconic 1980s Places have recently been taken over and revamped by D&D London, and both have installed young chefs who are barely older than the restaurants themselves.
Launceston Place - Independent review in full >>
The Observer, 6 April
Jay Rayner visits Abracadabra, London SW1
Abracadabra isn't so much a restaurant as a random sequence of events. I could describe it as bad - and believe me, the food is, in a very special way - but that really doesn't do the experience justice. It sits on London's Jermyn Street, alongside all the posh shirtmakers and places selling expensive shiny stuff you don't need but want anyway. And then there's the entrance to Abracadabra, a tarnished Topshop brooch on an Armani jacket. It's marked by a dour man in a jester's suit looking like he's waiting either for death or to be arrested, if only as an escape from the loneliness.
Abracadabra - Observer review in full >>
Jan Moir visits The Ritz, London SW1
This week, the Queen cancelled her diamond anniversary party at the Ritz. Shame! HRH loves the place, but felt that such a display of extravagant royal festivity would be inappropriate against a national backdrop of economic gloom. Maj, you must do what you think is best. However, Are You Ready To Order? has a reservation at the Ritz and is cancelling for no one, recession or no recession. Crisis, what crisis? Forget the credit crunch, says S, here comes the lobster lunch. Then he's off down Piccadilly like a spring lamb with the scent of fresh grass in his velvet nostrils. My darling boy! To look at him, no one would think he had a truss. And double gout.
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