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Square Meal Review of The Square ?

Plaudits continue to rain down on Phil Howard’s phenomenal thoroughbred. Quite simply, this is the top-end restaurant against which all others must be measured – from its “impeccable service”, “excellent atmosphere” and “superb wine matching” to an “exceptional tasting menu” and food that is “without doubt the best in London”. Thoughtful touches abound: bespoke tableware for the amuse-bouches; homemade biscuits with the cheese. It’s difficult to resist the “exquisite” signature dishes: the luscious sauté of Scottish langoustine tails with Parmesan gnocchi and potato and truffle emulsion has earned “last supper status”, while lasagne of Dorset crab with shellfish cappuccino and Champagne foam wraps up the freshest flavours in faultless pasta. Regulars trust the kitchen implicitly, and tartare of milk-fed veal with artichoke cream, and roast duck breast with homemade black pudding were for us just as good as the Square classics: stunningly presented and harmoniously flavoured. Readers also rave about “melt-in-the-mouth” foie gras, “delicately cooked” Cornish cod and “intensely bittersweet” chocolate fondant. The corporate-feeling room might not thrill, but “the fact you can comfortably sit and hear each other talk” is much appreciated – as is service performed without fuss by professional staff totally free from formality. In all, “outstanding” on every front.

Wine List of the Year Sommelier's Award Finalist

An incredibly well-put-together list. The Champagne selection is a delight, but the real highlight is Burgundy, with a section divided by different domaines as well as appellations. The margins aren’t the lowest in town, but considering this is a two-star restaurant, they’re not bad. A good place to treat yourself.


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  1. Published : Monday, 3 December 2012

    edge and spoon :: The Square

    I don’t like Mondays just as much as the Boomtown Rats. Nor does the restaurant industry. Everyone’s back to work, the markets are closed, and no one goes out to eat. Indeed, the best places are often shut at the beginning of the week. Not, however, The Square. I’d read praise for it as having “flawless” service, serving up “sophisticated” food, with Phillip Howard‘s restaurant being “the best of its type”. An excellent reputation demands high expectations. On the Monday I went, I experienced nothing to such acclaim. I have to ask: Where was our fantastic meal that everybody else is having?...
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  1. Published : Friday, 17 May 2013

    little swallow : china doll :: The Square, Mayfair

    Last Friday really knocked me for six.

    The CG got some very unexpected news, and we had to make a really tough decision to cancel a significant trip this year as a result. Luckily, the CG was still his usual resolutely upbeat self in the face of adversity, so I told him how proud I was of him, and headed to dinner at The Square with the usual suspects. (Don't judge me. It was booked a long time in advance.)

    We opted for the tasting menu. 9 courses and 8 wines later, I was certainly glad we had...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 26 December 2012

    SamTheFoodFan :: The Square

    It's Christmas time and Christmas is a time for indulgence. For me, that means only one thing. Food. It's been a pretty tough year for me in lots of ways, so TBH has really pushed the boat out and decided to take me to the number one restaurant on my bucket list. The Square.

    Phillip Howard has been at the helm of The Square for twenty years and while many of his contemporaries have moved into the role of celebrity TV chef, Phil has steadfastly remained in the kitchen. It is only this year that he has made an appearance on The Great British Menu, won the London region of the competition, and released his first...
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  1. The Square headed by Phillip Howard has been serving up a fine dining experience for over 20 years in London’s Bruton Street. Bearing two Michelin stars the restaurant unquestionably provides well-presented and commendable cuisine in one sense, indeed it has a barrel load of critical acclaim, but it’s a trifle boring. Howard is also co-owner of The Ledbury, the critics favourite and Kitchen W8, other Michelin starred establishments. He has also worked under Albert Roux OBE at the Roux Restaurant Groups and graced the kitchen at Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s. Howard is renowned for his elegant classical French cooking...
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  1. Published : Monday, 16 September 2013

    Saying it straight :: The Square. It is, a bit.

    You know that there is something wrong with your life when you can’t get excited about going to a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. Or at least there is something wrong with my life. But you know that by now.

    And the truth is that every time I decide to go to The Square, I keep thinking that this will be the time when I get it, this will be the time when it speaks to me and this will with the time when I understand why people get so excited about it...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 3 April 2013

    vialaporte :: The Square** // Mayfair // London

    According to Michelin (2013), there are eight **2 star restaurants in London that are worth a detour. At vialaporte, we’ve devoured our way through five of them, and so far all have impressed except for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which continually falls down (and not just in our eyes) on service, not food. So the question is; how well does Mayfair-based The Square stack-up?

    Boss Phil Howard has recently welcomed former sous chef Gary Foulkes as his head chef after a stint at La Trompette. The idea being that he wants to inject some modernity into The Square’s cuisine. Based on what we tasted, there is still...
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  1. On the last day of my holiday I decided to save the most interesting for last. The Square. I was last here several years ago and left not very impressed to be honest. All my friends have implored me to give it another chance, so I decided that I would try. Maybe they had an off day.

    Off to a good start. What a pretty plate! Not square though and it has lots of circles. With a restaurant with this name, I almost expected a plate in the shape of it’s namesake. Maybe the name “the square” was a reference to “square” meals, I thought. Hmmm....
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Phil Howard

Philip Howard ‘Full-time chef, part-time ski bum’ goes Phil Howard’s Twitter biog – in fact he’s one of the few top chefs you can count on finding in the kitchen most days. Trained as a microbiologist, Howard’s early cheffing career took him to Harveys and Bibendum, before he opened his blue-blooded restaurant and Mayfair institution The Square with Nigel Platts-Martin in 1992. He is also co-proprietor of Kitchen W8, Sonny’s KItchen and The Ledbury.
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Essential Details for The Square

  • Cuisine: French
  • Area: Mayfair Oxford Street
  • Price: £104.00
  • Wine: £32.00
  • Champagne: £60.00
  • Lunch: £30/35 (2/3 set courses); £65/80 (2/3 courses à la carte)
  • Dinner: £80 (3 courses à la carte)

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