Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
With Pollen Street Social (headed by Jason Atherton, pictured) taking bookings from 31 March for its opening in April, and Stefano Cavallini’s 5 Pollen St having opened in February, there’s a lot happening on this tiny Mayfair road. So far, Square Meal’s readers have labelled 5 Pollen St both ‘buzzy’ with ‘fabulous’ food and ‘charming’ staff, and ‘uninspiring’, ‘fussy’ and ‘not up to scratch’. It remains to be seen what they will make of the next big arrival – and which will be queen bee.
Is there anything that Bennett Oyster Bar & Brasserie doesn’t do? Describing itself as a seafood brasserie, oyster bar, and organic grocery, it sells fine wines, cheese, fruit and vegetables, homemade bread, and even flowers, and opens from 8am-midnight. Look out for thoughtfully sourced British ingredients, an Enomatic wine dispenser serving eight high-end or unusual wines by the glass, and cocktails shaken by mixologist Andres Masso. When summer comes, dine in the botanical garden or on the patio, which overlooks Battersea Square.
Restaurateur Russell Norman is conquering Soho bite by bite. After the successes of Italian favourites Polpo and Polpetto, he’s now launched Spuntino, a New York-style eatery serving small plates based on the big flavours of Little Italy, such as mac and cheese, truffled-egg toast and meatball sliders (little hamburgers). As usual, it’s first-come, first-served, but this time the restaurant doesn’t even have a telephone number, meaning you’ll have to chance the queues in order to check it out for yourself.
Now that the evenings are getting lighter, it’s time to take advantage of the fabulous views that are there for the taking at SkyLounge, which opened at the end of last year. Try the sky at night cocktail (fresh blackberries and kiwi with gin, sloe berry liqueur elderflower cordial and pomegranate juice) as you gaze at the twinkling lights of the city below. When the warmer weather starts, step out onto the terraces, which will see smokin’ barbecues come summer.
What began as an attractive independent wine shop has now added a bar, complete with slouchy chairs and sofas, to the mix. The beauty of this set-up is the ample opportunity to try before you buy: more than 100 wines are on offer, each with handy, pocket-sized tasting cards, and each costing 50p to sample. Once you’ve decided on a bottle, corkage is waived, meaning you can enjoy it at the bar.
Leon has opened its 10th and largest venue on Old Compton Street. Spanning two floors, the new location promises an open-fronted terrace, café and lounge areas and a basement library filled with the chef’s favourite cookbooks, which customers can peruse at their leisure for inspiration. Expect more of the ‘natural fast food’ and commitment to sustainability, sourcing and animal welfare that have already won the chain so many fans.