SquareMeal Review of
Set up by the Soho House group, Café Monico adds a much-needed sense of occasion to the Shaftesbury Avenue scene, with classic styling and a broad menu befitting its position between two major West End theatres. What was the double-height Avalon nightclub has had a mezzanine level added, with the upper level radiating around a central bar and blown-glass chandelier. Well-dressed “knowledgeable” staff run the show, jazz bubbles away in the background and swathes of green leather add a touch of class. Overseen by London veteran Rowley Leigh (founder of Kensington Place), the menu covers all the bases: in the evening, you might find devilled kidneys, crispy-topped spinach lasagne and Leigh’s signature – moreish Parmesan custard with chewy anchovy toast. Sea bass comes with black cabbage, while meaty lamb is paired with merguez sausages, chickpeas and a lightly spiced sauce. A short cocktail list offers refined classics, and the wine list provides ample mid-priced choice.