The legendary Connaught Grill is set to make a return to London early next year, 20 years after it served its last meal.
Located in the heart of the five-red-AA-star Connaught hotel in Mayfair, the grill was regarded as one of the capital’s most celebrated restaurants from 1955 to 2000.
At the time of its closure, Michel Bourdin was chef de cuisine at the hotel, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement in 2001. Thomas (Tommy) Simmons was the restaurant’s first manager, succeeded by his assistant Mr Bovo in the mid-1970s.
The new look 46-seat grill will be reinstated on the ground floor in its original space, which more recently has been used as the Carlos and Regency private dining rooms.
US-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who already runs his eponymous restaurant at the hotel, will head up a modern interpretation of a classic grill with an open kitchen featuring a wood-burning grill and rotisserie. The menu will focus on British produce from langoustines and Dover sole, to British game and seasonal vegetable dishes.
Vongerichten said: “There will also be a homage to classics from the old Connaught Grill including, of course, Oeuf en surprise au Connaught, which I remember so well on my first visit there. I am honoured to play a part in bringing the Connaught Grill back to life in London.”
Paddy McKillen, co-owner of the Connaught, added: “Ever since we started the project of restoring the Connaught way back in 2008, I have dreamt of breathing life back into the Connaught Grill, a mythical restaurant that somehow captures a special place in guests’ hearts. We are bringing the grill back to be discovered by a new generation, a Connaught Grill of today not yesterday, using craftsmen and chefs of today, but with the spirit and old school charm of the legendary Connaught Grill.”
The Connaught Grill will become the third restaurant at the 121-bedroom hotel, alongside the two-Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze and Jean-Georges Vongeritchten.
The Connaught is sister hotel to Claridge’s and the Berkeley hotels, which together form the Maybourne Hotel Group.