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Few London restaurants can boast a reputation with the clout The Ivy enjoys, which looks set to continue following a glittering refurbishment. We use glittering literally: gone is a wall which formerly cut up the room, allowing the action to revolve around a beautiful new marble-topped bar, crowned with mirrored tiles like a glowing jewellery box. Martin Brudnizki is behind the atmospheric update, which also features olive green booth seating, a scattering of soft pink lamps and bright paintings by the likes of Damien Hirst. The opaque, diamond-latticed windows so crucial to the restaurant’s exclusive feel remain, as do the culinary calling cards: you’ll still find the legendary shepherd’s pie and crispy duck salad on the menu. We elected for fresh inclusions such as a perfunctory burrata with fried zucchini flower and lip-smackingly sticky and sweet tea-smoked short ribs with daikon slaw. The reasonably priced menu now includes a trend-chasing ‘Asian Graze’ section with the likes of miso umami broth and yellowtail tuna sashimi, followed by steaks, chargrills, fish, seafood and international ‘classics’; we opted for a delicate plate of flower-strewn scallops, paired with soy-braised pork and carefully enlivened with piquant caramel garlic. Lamb rump is unusually but successfully paired with pomegranate-speckled quinoa, but the seriously good, golden fries are the winning accompaniment. The dessert menu has been injected with new life too; the most memorable flavours on our visit came from Elderflower-infused jelly filled with raspberries, while Amalfi lemon panna cotta nestled in a perfectly tangy raspberry sorbet. A sophisticated cocktail list is organised by eras which include ‘Roaring Twenties’ while the wine selection offers plenty of choice to match the diverse dishes. The Ivy still does everything right – service glides effortlessly while the world outside quietly drifts away beyond jeweled windows – and with its thoughtful redesign The Ivy has certainly blossomed anew. Is this enough to attract a new generation of loyal fans? We certainly hope so.
The uncharacteristic heatwave of the last few weeks has made us forget the wash out weeks of June when we all thought a sunny day would remain ever elusive. On a June Friday night pre-theatre visit to the Ivy, as I shook off my umbrella having been splashed by a passing taxi, comfort food was close to my mind. Comfort food is something that the Ivy undoubtedly does extremely well. Once past various paparazzi images of celebs falling out of or into cabs, a Google search of "The Ivy" would be guaranteed to bring up more references to cosy options like sausages and mash, shepherds pies and berries with white chocolate...
More from Sybaricious »
I have lived in London for 33 years and I have never, until now, been to The Ivy. So long has it been a part of the restaurant scene that I thought it had been there, in its present form, for decades, but (I was surprised to find) it has only been around in its current incarnation since 1989, courtesy of those masters of the slick and the smooth, Corbin and King.Of course, The Ivy was there long before the Corbin/King rebirth; since 1916, in one form or other, when it was set up as an Italian restaurant by Abel Giandelli. Not that it was called The Ivy then. According to legend, the name came about because...
More from The Food Judge »
“The Ivy is one of London’s most in demand restaurants” says the The Ivy’s website and I’d agree with that – I’ve always found it a bit of an uphill struggle to get a table. But good news!...
More from Samphire and Salsify »
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