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|Address:||12a Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RR|
|Tel:||020 7287 8488|
|Price: £60.00||Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -5pm)|
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If you're tired of London, they say, you're tired of Life. Well, if Antidote can't pick you up before then, nothing will. Walking in downstairs I'm struck by the layout, with the long bar and high stools for casual dining, and an overwhelming sense of calm. It is uncluttered, simple, sleek and looks immensely poised and elegant. Yet it is also very welcoming and relaxed: the waiting staff prop me up at the bar and pour water and then, after a suitable pause, bubbles whilst I wait for my friend. It's one of those places you could happily retreat to for a restorative lunch by yourself and not feel out of place. As it was I was here with a friend and we requested one of the few tables in the shady side passage to which we were duly moved at exactly the right moment ie after letting us catch up with aperitifs at the bar but before we felt abandoned. Pacing of the entire meal is perfect and the staff are there when you need them and gone when you don't. As to the food, we had a very reasonable set lunch menu and, extra points, this looks like it actually changes daily. Mine involved tender scallops, suckling pig and a strawberry dessert, all beautifully presented and perfectly cooked with hints of serious kitchen panache but without any pretension, and yes the bread is also very more-ish. I don't remember what wine we had but it hit the spot and I remember there was plenty of choice to placate even the most organo-phobic of wine buffs. My friend picked up the bill but as he didn't raise his eyebrows I'm sure it was reasonable. Certainly a 3 course set menu for around £25 for this food in this central location strikes me as very good value. It is all extremely assured and assuring. The name begs the question “antidote to what?”; the answer is “life, the universe and everything”.