Quaglino's, which finds itself tidily tucked away in St James, oozes glamour, offering diners modern European cuisine with top-shelf cocktails. Head chef Jack Smith devises punchy, fresh dishes using seasonal ingredients, while Ivan innovates and the drinks team innovate behind the bar. Thanks to this combination of team and setting, the result is something that truly everyone can enjoy, whether they are looking for somewhere to catch up over a cocktail or celebrate a milestone.
The only way to start an evening in a space this stylish is with oysters and/or caviar, and a glass of Champagne which is available by the glass or bottle. Those staying for a full dinner have a treat ahead of them. Starters showcase Jack Smith's expertise with options like parsnip velouté with whipped mascarpone, winter truffle and confit chestnuts, or smoked duck and pear salad with red endive and kumquat jam. Slow-cooked Gloucester Old Spot pork belly with spiced carrot and black garlic will delight meat-eaters, while the burnt butter confit halibut will satisfy any seafood lovers. Vegans aren't left out here and can choose from saffron risotto with baby turnips or gnocchi with roast pumpkin, oyster mushrooms and kale crisps. Guests can finish their meal with a choice of desserts, including mulled apples and pears with white chocolate mousse and cinnamon crumble or gingerbread creme brulee with sugared cranberries and mascarpone.
The team are well aware how good of a date spot this is, and offer two-person sharing dishes to accommodate couples, including a 1.3 kilo chargrilled Tomahawk, Loch Duarte salmon wellington, chargrilled chateaubriand or braised beef short rib with gratin dauphinoise, wild mushrooms and winter truffle.
When describing Quaglino's, it would be a crime not to mention the live music, as it is the perfect accompaniment to the excellent food on offer.