Once used for storing coal, this dinky, low-ceilinged basement is reached via an easy-to-miss narrow doorway on frenetic Wardour Street. Inside, it’s been tastefully spruced up, with navy-blue and bare-brick walls, warm subdued lighting and a copper-topped bar creating a welcoming and unpretentious New York vibe in W1. The small-plates menu cherry-picks from the global larder – try palourde clams steamed with aromatic fennel tops, garlic and white wine, pull-apart lavender-infused shoulder of lamb cooked in hay or a punchy sausage (spiked with juniper and smoked sea salt) on well-seasoned sauerkraut. To follow, puds include a light, gooey and deftly salted chocolate cake. Switched-on staff keep diners happy, while the engaging bar team knock up unusual cocktails – many of which can be paired with the food. Otherwise, the wine list strikes a good balance between by-the-glass options and special reserves.
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