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Square Meal Review of Balthazar ?

In two short years since opening, Balthazar has won the hearts of Square Meal readers and feels like it has always been here. This Americanised version of the classic French bistro comes direct from Keith McNally’s New York original, and shares the same electric atmosphere, with “a lovely buzz you can just sink into”, plus “NY can-do service”. As one correspondent notes, “you won’t find many culinary surprises on the menu” but French staples such as steak tartare and garlicky snails are “well executed”. Highlights on our visit included juicy prawns in a vibrant Espelette pepper sauce mopped up with olive-stuffed fougasse Provençal bread, and the comfortingly rich signature duck shepherd’s pie. Breakfast and afternoon tea are also offered, weekend brunches are a popular treat, and it’s rated as a place for business lunches. Cramped tables and high prices cause occasional niggles, but mostly “this place really hits the spot”.

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  1. Published : Tuesday, 11 March 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Balthazar

    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...
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  1. 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...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 2 June 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: Balthazar

    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...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 3 November 2013

    chichangout :: Balthazar

    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!...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 3 April 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: Balthazar

    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!...
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  1. Published : Monday, 10 February 2014

    The Hungry Porker :: Balthazar

    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...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 16 October 2013

    vialaporte :: Balthazar //Covent Garden // London

    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...
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  1. 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...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 14 August 2013

    THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! :: BALTHAZAR, COVENT GARDEN

    Like with most American exports, I was so looking forward to the opening of Balthazar. I had been to the original in New York six years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Even though I was restricted with what I ate (being a first time mum I followed all the food rules), I had a fabulous meal and adored the buzzy environment.

    I was most excited about Balthazar opening in Covent Garden and had been salivating over the menu as soon as it was posted online – there was so much on there I liked I figured one trip would never be enough...
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  1. Published : Monday, 4 March 2013

    The Hedonist :: Review-Balthazar

    There is no pretending-Balthazar is the hot table du jour. To get a table I had to go on repeat dial for an hour as the booking line opened and the restaurant was packed to the gills with food bloggers like moi and celebrities such as …Heston Blumenthal wearing specs that somehow made him look like Atom Ant. Now London is not short of faux French Brasseries and with Zedel, Colbert, The Wolseley and The Delaunay at the top end of the market there is definitely competition for McNally. However Covent Garden is undergoing something of a rebirth as a gastro-destination and there is nothing quite like this in the area...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 13 February 2013

    Sophie Loves Food :: Balthazar Boulangerie, Russel St.

    As you can imagine, when I first heard that Balthazar was to open in London I was excited that I'd finally be able to get my sweet tooth around one of their macarons. And that's exactly what I did today. So thank you Mr. McNally for sending your sweet treats across the Atlantic for us to enjoy, you did not disappoint!

    Unlike all the rumours I've heard, I didn't have to queue and was served immediately by a very helpful member of staff. Two different breads were recommended to me; a rosemary salted focaccia and a potato-onion roll...
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  1. Having kicked off LFW in style 48 hours earlier by attending a few shows and after parties (blog post coming soon on all the action!!), I was unfortunately unable to bag myself a ticket to the Mathew Williamson show. I tried to nurse my dismay by checking out his afternoon tea pop-up at one of my fave London restaurant jaunts Balthazar.

    The afternoon tea with chasing rainbow option has to be your selection of choice. Named after David Bailey’s publication, the books reference to relaxed glamour are what inspired his SS15 collection incorporating the floral elements and soft colours seen on the catwalk. The...
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