Hardy's

53 Dorset Street , London, W1U 7NH

SquareMeal Review of Hardy's

Secreted on a quiet corner since the 80s, Nick de Bastarrechea’s bistro embodies the notion of a neighbourhood eatery; the idea of calling in here on the way home from work quickens many locals’ step. Out front there’s a clutch of pavement tables & a blackboard announcing the arrival of seasonal treats. Beyond the café curtains is a brasserie with a laid-back, bashed-up feel, plus a smarter dining room – both looked after by a willing team. There are no surprises on the menu, although a high comfort factor is sharpened by contemporary garnishes; a starter of broad beans with goats’ curd & mint might give way to fishcakes with a poached egg, hollandaise & spinach, while chocolate & walnut cake is correctly matched with pouring cream. Interesting, personally chosen wines, too.

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7.6

Food & Drink: 7.2

Service: 8.2

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 7.8

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Sara O. 13 December 2016

I had the fish and chips and, whilst the chips were well cooked and crispy, the fish was an oblong shaped block which looked and tasted suspiciously like it had come out of a packet from the freezer. In saying that, the pureed peas were very good indeed. My colleague had a shepherd's pie with frozen peas which looked very ordinary though he made no comment (he was paying!). For desert I had a very small portion of rum and raisin ice cream (couldn't taste the rum!). However, the restaurant has a good, cosy atmosphere and the staff were attentive.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 15 July 2010

Wiktionary defines local as: “one's nearest or regularly frequented public house or restaurant”. (It used to say bar, but such is the joy of all things Wiki, I changed it. No doubt it will have been changed back by now, but I will have made my point anyway). Hardy's is my nearest, although not most regularly frequented, restaurant; thank heavens too that the Barley Mow has been thoughtfully and carefully restored, and has reopend as a boozer. This lovely gem of a pub was closed for way too long, but I now have a local “public house” within falling distance too. Hardy's is not, nor has ever had any pretentions of being, a hip or cool place to hang out. It is never going to win a Squaremeal star, let alone a Michelin one, but that misses the point. This is a local. A restaurant that you can walk to in a few minutes, that you know what you're going to get and you know that it is going to be cooked well. No surprises; no foams, no drizzles, no smears, but the sort of place where you go if you fancy fishcakes (traditional, not Thai), beef (roast, not pan seared with an aromatic jus) and lamb (rump, not rare breed). The wine list is surprisingly long, arranged carefully by style rather than grape, and with some crackingly good value wines at the lower price range, with a few more expensive ones for a special treat. The descriptions are great too: each wine has its own two line write-up, generally talking about the grape, the aroma, the character but, in one memorable description: a Vogue covergirl, not a Playboy centrefold. I have no idea what that means, but surely worth a try.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 4.0

Di H. 25 March 2010

Hardys produces consistently good food with friendly service but when I visited in late March it was freezing cold – so cold that I had to keep on a coat and scarf throughout the meal. When I asked if the heating could be turned up I was informed that there was none!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Anna S. 09 April 2009

Fab SM deal meant great food and more to spend on excellent reasonably priced wine. However would recommend as a venue for informal good quality dining separate to a deal.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Carl Johan silver reviewer 26 November 2008

Hardy's is one of my local restaurants, but I haven't been more than a few times. There's nothing much to complain about, but it doesn't surprise much on the upside either. The atmosphere, when full, is cozy and vibrant, but they seem to have a hard time filling the place. In fact, I've been one of only clients there at, what I would assume to be, prime dining time. The food is alright and priced thereafter. I personally quite enjoyed the steak, even though it was presented in a very straight forward way. All in all, I would never recommend non-Marylebone inhabitants to travel to here, but if you're in the area, it's a good option. The personnel have always been very friendly and the place has everything for a nice quiet dinner. However, there are better options in the area if you require something more.

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