‘Superlative', ‘unbelievably excellent', ‘not a bad bite anywhere' – just some of the praise lavished on Jason Atherton's sought-after uptown eatery. The good vibrations hit you straight away, whether you're after cocktails at the bar or an exhilarating food-fest in the clean-lined metropolitan dining room with its ‘sci-fi' lampshades and dessert bar. Forget stiff, stuffy sanctums, this is a Michelin-starred venue that rocks. Influences come from all over, but everything is underpinned by top-drawer British ingredients and restless creativity: consider the quail ‘brunch' with trompettes, savoury porridge and savoury tea, the sea bass with riffs on celery and celeriac, or even ox tongue and cheek with caper-and-raisin purée. Set lunches are a ‘steal', and sommelier Laure Patry works miracles with the classy wine list. A spin-off, The Social Eating House, is due to launch on Poland Street in spring 2013.
This is not a list that does anything unusual – but it is about as rock solid and professional as you could wish. At 500 bins, it’s not a small list, but nor is it stuffed with wines that won’t sell. And while there might be a few trophy wines for clients with deep pockets, there is no shortage of fairly priced stuff, too. A third of the white Burgundies, for instance, are around £50 or less. Free of fuss, simple to use and error free, it’s a really good example of a no-nonsense list.
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