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19 New Cavendish Street
020 7935 0058
Picture mark two comes from chefs Alan Christie and Colin Kelly and front-of-house Tom Slegg, who earned their stripes at Arbutus and Wild Honey. The team has imbibed the original ethos of those top-ranking restaurants to produce good-value modern European cooking served in an austere setting of no-frills comfort. Menus dated with an inky library stamp are a nice touch; choose from a six-course seasonal tasting menu (£40) or go à la carte (around £10 per course). Portions are small but flavours are bold, the ingredients diverting and the presentation elegant: soft parcels of ravioli containing sweet tangles of caramelised onion, pecorino shavings melting on top; excellent charred and spiced cauliflower, redolent of North Africa; silkily textured 28-day aged beef dusted with a bone-marrow crumb; punchily flavoured lamb neck with nuggets of deep-fried sweetbreads, seasoned with salty bursts of anchovy. Fish was a highlight for us, a lovely combination of cod, chorizo and sweetcorn especially. We also enjoyed the wine matching and jolly service from Slegg, whose list of lesser-known producers generally keeps below the £50 mark, unless you’re celebrating with Burgundy or Bordeaux. A Picture worth reproducing.
Best Restaurants in Marylebone
SquareMeal 2 Stars
19 New Cavendish Street
020 7935 0058
Bond Street Tube Station 523m
Regents Park Tube Station 555m
The Wallace Collection 243m
Harley Street 255m
Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
The style is a little cold and stark when you first walk in. Very grey and black and the front seats felt a little "in the window". But don't let this fool you! The food was full of warmth and depth, and we all left with full tummies muttering about how much we enjoyed the evening. We ordered off the A La Carte menu with the recommendation that we should choose 3 items as the plates were on the smaller side. I think I possibly could have been happy with 2 and a dessert as left a little on the full side after ordering dessert on top of the three plates. Each plate was like a little picture. Beautifully balanced and unexpected surprises of taste, we all ummmed and ooohed through the meal, grabbing off one another's plates to make sure we didn't miss anything. We had a lovely bottle of Pino from Germany which against traditional expectations of one or two of our party was excellent. The menu was date stamped so I'm assuming it's seasonal or even daily but if you do go anytime soon and they have the Cod with hazelnuts it comes highly recommended. The staff were warm and friendly and knowledgeable about their menu and wine list. It's definitely on my personal recommendation list and I wouldn't turn down any opportunity to go back.
Food + drink: 4
In January restaurants can be a bit empty, and when you arrive and experience the minimalist decor at Picture Marylebone it can all feel a bit bleak. It was nice and warm inside though and the welcome was warm as well. The menu provides a selection of small plates at good prices. We had four of the beef bites at £1 each; savoury and crispy, a good start with the bread and butter while choosing the wine. We both had the glazed squash, goat's curd, pumpkin seed pesto, golden sultanas - a pretty presentation and flavours and textures worked well together. After that, the small pieces of venison haunch, toasted barley, and swede were excellent, though decidedly small, but with a side of fries we felt we had had sufficient. Just one iced mascarpone parfait between us with some tiny cubes of Williams pear and crunchy gingerbread morsels meant we had enjoyed beautifully prepared dishes and lots of good flavours without being overwhelmed, and post-Christmas this is welcome. If you wanted a more substantial meal there is the option of a 6-course tasting menu or you could go for another course from the daily plates.
Three years is a long time in the London restaurant scene, but it is all credit to the team at Picture that such has been the success of their original Fitzrovia venture (which opened in 2013), now comes their second offering, located in Marylebone. There is no shortage of nearby competition in either area, but Picture undoubtedly can hold its own. The model emphasises simplicity, but what they do, they do very well, perhaps no surprise given the Arbutus/ Wild Honey-trained background of the owners. In terms of the venue, the room itself is an improvement on the Fitzrovia location, which I felt suffered from very poor acoustics and a slight sense of claustrophobia. By contrast, Marylebone felt positively calm, both in terms of décor and ambience. This was despite the fact that when a comrade and I recently visited on a mid-week night, the place was probably 80% full. Staff were friendly, engaging and enthusiastic. In terms of the food, the menu is conveniently divided into three sections of vegetables, fish and meat and it is suggested that diners partake in one item from each category, although it is clearly possible to mix-and-match in any permutation one might care. Moreover, a well-priced 6-course ‘summer menu’ is also available, at the competitive price of £40/head. We opted for the conventional approach and were not disappointed in any of our choices, which displayed a broad yet clear nod to seasonal English ingredients across the board. Before our selections appeared, however, we enjoyed a ‘beef bite’ with our aperitif. It is what it says: beef brisket, lightly fried in breadcrumbs and then flavoured with chilli. Dipped in alioli sauce, it was divine – and an absolute steal at just £1 per bite. This set the tone well for the rest of the experience. Stand-out for me was the hake brandade, smoked haddock, hispi cabbage and red onion fish main. Recently, I have rarely had such delicate fish, so well-flavoured and also perfectly balanced. This praise, however, does something of a disservice to the other dishes – from vegetables to meat – none of which could really be faulted. Throughout, presentation was first-class. The wine list bears mention in terms of its range: our initial dishes were paired with a Hungarian Furmint, a noteworthy contrast to the more conventional white varieties. Meanwhile, I also rated the organic South African Bordeaux blend which sat very well with my lamb neck. If there were one quibble, then it would be that the cheese selection enjoyed for dessert (admittedly sourced from the nearby Fromagerie) was rather bland, but this at least is easily fixable. Overall, Picture looks set to build on its already strong success story.
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