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Fanfares and permanently engaged phone lines heralded the arrival of Balthazar – the hottest ticket in town and a deserved winner of the BMW Square Meal Award for best new restaurant. Based on
Keith McNally’s legendary New York eatery, this ‘amazingly attractive’ big-time venue occupies the Covent Garden Theatre Museum – cue high ceilings, fantastic lighting and big mirrors, plus
effortless showmanship from ‘absolutely fabulous’, hyper-attentive staff. The all-day offer runs from breakfast and brunch to afternoon tea and late-night suppers, taking in everything from onion
soup, garlicky escargots or velvety lobster and black truffle risotto to Balthazar burgers, excellent duck shepherd’s pie and ‘orgasmic’ chocolate soufflé – although the odd notion of
‘Americanised’ French food exported to London inevitably means ‘safe choices and lots of garlic’. Even so, you can’t help but love the place – it’s everyone’s idea of a Parisian brasserie, yet
feels like it’s been part of the London scene for years.
Balthazar Restaurant opened in Soho in New York in 1997, and within two years of its opening it became one of the hottest restaurants in NYC. It attracted celebrities far and wide, much in the same way that Chiltern Firehouse, London’s restaurant of the moment is doing. Long recognised as an institution in New York, celebrity restaurateur Keith McNally opened a branch on British shores in 2013 to much hype and fanfare.Balthazar London looks the business and replicates Balthazar New York’s French brasserie design, from the high ceilings to the antique mirrored walls, through to the red leather banquettes down to the mosaic floors. Similar to its big sister, Balthazar London offers all-day menu with breakfast as well afternoon tea, and on the weekends there is a separate brunch menu. The food is French-inspired and includes seafood from the raw bar as well as a wide selection of classical French brasserie and bistro dishes. Next door to the restaurant is the Balthazar Boulangerie that serves an array of delicious looking artisan breads, pastries, salads and sandwiches...
More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »
Balthazar London, his twelfth restaurant opening manifests his creative talents. His objective was to attract custom with the way his restaurant made them feel at the time, rather then being the ‘in’ place to be seen. A current example of the opposite being Chiltern Firehouse. Nigella Lawson sums him up well “he has a passion for authenticity and aesthetic perfection. Decent food and bloody good service.” Based on my experience last week, I agree...
More from Whistle and Bango »
Balthazar established its name in New York quite long time ago. Surprise, surprise…after the opening of its London branch, there were no available tables for weeks. Yep… Londoners love NY restaurants’ openings and it was no different this time. But I must say that this time the love was totally justified.Oh boy, their food is like heaven in the mouth!...
More from chichangout »
This French restaurant is the work of an Englishman, whose original Balthazar is located in New York. As unlikely a proposition as this may be the original Balthazar basks in good opinion. The London Balthazar finds its home in what was previously a theatre, overlooking the market in Covent Garden. The newly pimped out space has a price tag of £14m for the refurb, and would not be out of place in a Francophiles wet dream. Think moody red banquettes and mirrors so large and so tilted as to raise suspicion. In this backdrop of expense and suggestion then, the categorical rejection of London’s Balthazar is all the blunter.The majority of critic opinion thus far would ward off even the most obtuse reader, except of course a food blogger committed to the cause...
More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »
Two steps from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the carbon copy of a New York City restaurant, Balthazar. After ten years, Keith McNally decided that diners this side of the Atlantic needed to experience his version of a Parisian brasserie. Despite all the hype that surrounded the launch, Balthazar aims to deliver simple dishes made with high products. And the result? Well, it fulfills the brief well.As you arrive you’ll be struck by the magnificence of the dining room, with its high, decorated ceiling and sumptuous chandeliers. Certainly one of very few complaints would be that the day time menu is quite limited in comparison to the evening offerings, so bear that in mind when booking. Balthazar, however, is spot on with its sourcing of its products. While most of the dishes are absolutely spot-on, the team in the kitchen are still perfecting a couple of things...
More from vialaporte »
When I tried to get a table a few weeks after Balthazar’s eagerly anticipated opening last year, I felt like Patrick Bateman trying to get a reservation at Dorsia. Not a chance was the response I got. Not this weekend, and not for any of the weekends in the foreseeable future. They might as well have let out that shrill laugh down the phone. Well almost a year later with the hype having cooled off, or rather people realising it really didn’t deserve half of that hype in the first place, my perseverance has paid off and I managed to land myself a table.With it’s huge premises just off the central arcade in Covent Garden it has the feel of a destination restaurant, and so it was the ideal place to take visiting family from Newcastle who wanted a taste of somewhere grand in London...
More from The Hungry Porker »
Yet another New York restaurant has arrived London recently. This time it’s Balthazar, a stylish brasserie breathing golden orange tones. It’s almost an exact replica of the New York restaurant from mirrors to pillars and it’s equally busy during peak hours...
More from Drifting Epicure »
Balthazar adds to London’s ever growing list of brasseries and is the creation of Keith McNally (I’ve never heard of him either). With its location right in the heart of Covent Garden and being an almost carbon copy of the already popular original Balthazar in New York it means getting a reservation is not the easiest of tasks. My gentleman companion and I happened to be passing at 5pm and thought we’d try our luck and were offered a table as long as we returned it within an hour and a half – result!...
More from Samphire and Salsify »
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