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34 Charlotte Street
020 7636 1178
From its prized modern art and groaning cheeseboard to legions of suited staff, Pied à Terre remains “timeless in its class” – “always original, always fun, always great”. Head chef Asimakis Chaniotis has made the kitchen his own and can deliver some truly dazzling dishes, judging by our recent experience: roasted veal sweetbread and plump cockles drenched in seaweed butter; delicate squid ‘linguine’ under buckwheat and sea herbs; and a modernist spin on coconut rice pudding have all impressed mightily. The classics aren’t forgotten either – roasted and braised lamb is served alongside London’s most sophisticated take on ratatouille, while original chef Richard Neat’s foie gras and borlotti beans in Sauternes consommé is still fresh after 25 years. Apart from the bargain set lunch, prices are reassuringly top-end, but there’s ample value in a book-sized wine list, with “incredibly helpful” sommeliers. While the detail-rich dining room is pokey for some (and cosy for others), a recently refurbished upstairs bar is perhaps Fitzrovia’s best kept drinking secret. “Just simply fabulous”, sums it up.
Best Haute Cuisine
Best Wine Lists
Best in Fitzrovia
Square Meal Silver Awards
34 Charlotte Street
020 7636 1178
Goodge Street Tube Station 235m
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 411m
Contemporary Applied Arts 131m
Odeon Tottenham Court Road 184m
Mon-Fri 12.15-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6-10.45pm
High level celebrations are what this private room is all about, with what is billed as its own butler-style service. A private bar adds to the sense of occasion, although the main event is always going to be the two Michelin-star food, together with the wine from a stellar list. There’s a choice of menus from three-course a la carte to five-, seven- or 10-course tasting menus, each with a vegetarian alternative. Customisation comes in the form of table flowers, table place names, personalized menus and exclusive gifts.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
Restaurants with Michelin stars know what they’re doing, right? Especially those that have held at least one since 1993. You would assume so. We, however, encountered one of our least promising starts to a restaurant visit at Pied à Terre. Fortunately, things improved from there. Overall, the experience was positively memorable, if more so for the ambience than the food. Begin at the beginning. Step into Pied à Terre, and it is like entering someone’s house. Admittedly that of a very posh person, but the intimacy and the glamour of the place is evident. The venue oozes effortless class with a slight air of eclecticism (think Georgian cornicing and Blondie on the stereo). Beyond two dining areas on the ground floor, there is also a private dining space and a small upstairs bar. We had planned to visit the latter for a drink prior to eating, particularly since we had learned that it was one of London’s better kept secrets. Imagine then our initial disappointment on thinking ‘oh what a lovely venue,’ to being told that the bar was not available for mere pre-booked diners such as ourselves since it was being occupied by a group prior to their use of the private room. What to do; wonder the streets of Fitzrovia aimlessly for an hour, or seek another venue? Happily for us, the charismatic owner, David, smoothed things over, led us upstairs and provided us with two seats at the bar. Champagne in hand, the initial bitter taste was mostly alleviated, even if the accompanying canapes did not massively impress (a cold mac & cheese bite, anyone?). We progressed downstairs with a degree of trepidation, but found ourselves seated at a lovely table, able to survey the entire room’s proceedings. This is dining with showmanship; dishes brought to the table with a flourish, presented beautifully and paired with exciting wines offered by a highly knowledgeable sommelier. That will be the impression I will retain. Indeed, the eight-course menu took almost three hours from beginning to end. We were allowed to luxuriate, sip, savour and take it all in. If pressed to consider how many of the dishes were truly distinctive or ground-breaking, then I would probably highlight three: an innovative trout raviolo paired with a horseradish sauce; a rich and profound seabass dish served in XO sauce; and a wonderfully contrasting matcha custard and blackberry dessert. My comrade felt similarly about her vegetarian selection. This is not to dismiss Pied à Terre; more, it is the case that one can do better elsewhere at a not dissimilar price point. For a more complete and seamless dining experience (where almost every dish stuck in the mind), Sketch and The Greenhouse would both win hands-down. Perhaps this is the difference between one and two Michelin stars
It began on a high note: we were able to choose between a quiet room with no background muzak and correctly adjusted airco and the main dining room, we were identified as previous customers even after a hiatus of four years, there was the chance to have a champagne wine flight with the tasting menu, something not that usual in the UK, and the front of house staff were extremely professional and interactive, in particular the knowledgeable and enthusiastic sommelier who started off the show with an excellent English fizz. The amusing canapés, a pair of bright red chocolate lips concealing a salmon and cream cheese mousse and a filo cigar encompassing beef tartare and accompanied by radish in black olive oil, encouraged us to imagine delights to come. The amuse-bouche of eggs kaiganas with wild oregano and feta provided a good prelude to the first starter of Scottish scallops marinated in yuzu and citrus, served with curly kale, some truffle and a well-balanced celeriac purée. Escargots can be tricky but these were cooked attractively in a very rich and intense tomato and red wine sauce, with the accent on the tomato, and came with a parmesan wafer for the sauce and ravioli for the snails. Keeping up the attempts to get the odd eyebrow raised, the next course was octopus, slow cooked at low temperature, a tender tentacle in a very good squid ink sauce and piqued with Piquillo pepper and a dash of spring onion. Red mullet followed, a favourite of ours from Cornwall, but presented as part of a rather sparse dish, both the fish and the clever potato spaghetti somewhat overpowered by a saffron and tomato sauce. Venison at this time of year can be questionable and although its pairing with some delightful pain d’épice, pumpkin discs and a tomato and pain purée could have been a winner, the meat was unfortunately on the chewy side and overspiced for our taste. For the cheese course we received a preselection of goat’s, ewe’s and sheep’s cheeses with sesame seed crackers and an original PX jelly, the different styles bringing about an interesting variation in the taste sensation of the champagne we were drinking. The tasting menu was rounded off with two desserts, a carrot foam on Greek yoghurt on mandarin foam with carrot cubelets and a touch of lemon thyme, and what rightly or wrongly turned out to be our favourite dish of the evening, citrus cremeux on meringue à la française on top of a hazelnut feuilletine base with mini meringues and appropriately coloured edible flowers decorating the plate. We came away somewhat confused - it felt as though it should have been better because although the overall experience was good, the food was not always up to the standard we would have hoped for after our previous meal here, in particular the effect of the consistent overuse of tomato-based elements in the sauces.
Food + drink: 5
Simply outstanding service. Food too and very pretty and tasty. Attention to detail in all respects. Nothing too much to ask. Love everything about this place. Thanks to this place I found Pisqu, my new favourite Peruvian restaurant around the corner. strongly recommended.
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