The Betterment
The Betterment
The Betterment
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SquareMeal Review of The Betterment

Bronze Award

Jason Atherton’s return to Grosvenor Square is not without drama. The chef made his name at Maze, the restaurant he launched with Gordon Ramsay at the Marriott in 2005 and left five years later to go solo. He and Ramsay haven’t spoken since and now the two chefs are facing off against each other on opposite sides of the square: Ramsay with Maze’s reincarnation as Lucky Cat, and Atherton with this approachable (if not approachably priced) dining room within the new Biltmore hotel.

Starters focus on raw fish and meat in the likes of king crab with zingy yuzu and lime or a more subtle Orkney scallop with pear and sorrel, though the best thing we began the meal with were the gorgeous beef dripping croutons – like squishy chips made from fried bread – that accompanied a loose-textured, ruby-red steak tartare.

To follow, native lobster with white port bisque and rib-eye steak with bone-marrow both showcased well-sourced – and lusciously sauced – ingredients, though a side order of New Forest wild mushrooms with smoked egg yolk was so rich it would have been better served on toast as a starter.

In fact, so much of what we ate produced a sort of mouth-coating richness that we were grateful for our ultra fresh-tasting vegetable dishes of iceberg lettuce and snow peas with blue cheese, and a Caesar salad of cos lettuce and nori. A deconstructed Victoria sponge, meanwhile, made us think that afternoon tea here would be a good punt.

The Biltmore is part of LXR, whose properties are billed as the ‘one-of-a-kind’ wing of the Hilton empire. In truth, though, there’s no escaping you’re in a multinational hotel chain; the Betterment may have its own entrance, but the creamy, grey-ish decor feels very corporate, and efficient staff don’t do much to inject personality to proceedings.

The restaurant does, however, have a trump card in a heated terrace which allows year-round alfresco and would be an especially welcome sight in the morning over something bracing from the Wellness section of the breakfast menu (there’s lobster scrambled eggs and a full English, too).

Speaking of Trump: POTUS makes an appearance in what is destined to be this year’s most-Instagrammed cocktail, The Orange American, served in a Toby jug modelled on the President and topped with a comb-over of candy floss – presumably not on the menu when Atherton cooked for Trump on his recent State Visit.

Trump was right: the American Embassy should never have moved out of Grosvenor Square. Jason Atherton, at least, is a welcome return.

About The Betterment

This glamorous hotel restaurant marks a return to Grosvenor Square for Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, who first rose to fame launching Gordon Ramsay’s Maze on the square in 2005.

The all-day restaurant is part of The Biltmore Mayfair hotel, the first European property within the LXR Hotels & Resorts collection. The kitchen is headed up by Atherton’s long-time colleague Paul Walsh, who launched City Social with Atherton back in 2014, and led the kitchen to gain a Michelin star less than a year after it opened.

Expect seasonally inspired cooking, including meat and fish dishes prepared on the rustic wood-fired grill that takes up the centre of the space, bringing the kitchen into the main dining room and adding a sense of theatre.

Elsewhere on the menu, there are fresh seafood dishes, signature salads and plant-based options for vegan diners. Cosy banquettes, glass-panelled walls and ornate finishes, meanwhile, live up to the chic opulence of Atherton’s other restaurants. The chef is also responsible for the food and drink offering at the hotel’s Terrace and Tea Lounge, as well as its Pine Bar.

Atherton might be best known for his Social restaurants (Pollen Street Social, City Social, Social Eating House) but is no stranger to hotel dining, with Berners Tavern at the London Edition and the Clocktower at the New York Edition part of his global portfolio. Mayfair is hardly short of hotel restaurants from big-name chefs, but Atherton's knowledge of the local scene is likely to make it into a smash hit.   

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Modern European
Ambience
Lively
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
People
Celebrations, Celeb-spotting, Child friendly

The Betterment is featured in

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Special offers from The Betterment

3 courses & a glass of champagne: £29.50

From: 3 October, 2019
To: 3 November, 2019
Max: 4
From a set menu.
Availability: Daily 12:00PM-2:30PM 6:00PM-7:00PM

Location for The Betterment

The Biltmore, 39-44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HP

020 7629 9400

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 06:30-22:30
Tue 06:30-22:30
Wed 06:30-22:30
Thu 06:30-22:30
Fri 06:30-22:30
Sat 06:30-22:30
Sun 06:30-22:30

Reviews of The Betterment

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1 Review 
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Californian Wine Lover

Atherton Misfires in Mayfair
22 September 2019  

Being big fans of JA's current establishments, we were relishing the chance to try out his new venture at the newly opened Biltmore hotel in Mayfair. Unfortunately this is likely to be our one & only visit! Upon arrival we were shown to, what I assumed was the main dining room (we subsequently realised there was a much nicer & larger space at the rear). The tables are both uncomfortably close to each & so large that the ambience is more akin to a coffee shop. The room's decor & poor acoustics also add to the feeling that you are indeed sitting in a run of the mill hotel dining space rather an elegant Mayfair establishment.

Unfortunately things didn't improve much with service. Our waiter seemed not to understand what some of the items on the menu actually were! Our pre-dinner drinks took so long to arrive that we barely had time to consume them before the first course arrived. The 'sommelier' despite being given the exact bin number of the required wine, was unable to identify it & when she did, seemed shocked that I had ordered something from The Americas! Amazingly she suddenly seemed to think that I had made a 'excellent choice' once she brought the correct bottle. I doubt she knew anything about it, or had tried it herself. On the plus side, the wine list itself is excellent. 

As for the food, this was perhaps the most disappointing aspect. Starters for non-seafood eaters are almost non-existent. I had to resort to a 'side dish' of Grilled Vegetables with Sliced Pheasant (£12). I'm not sure quite why anyone would order this as a side dish & it didn't make a particularly good starter either, although the pheasant itself was tasty & enjoyable. My partner wasn't too impressed with her 'odd tasting' Steak Tartare (£16) though I didn't try this due the 'shellfish' content of the soy sauce it contained. Main courses were not much better. Her Rose Veal (£35) which I did try, was fatty and tasteless. My Ox Cheek Tortellini (£24) was flavourful but the pasta itself was too thick & quite hard. Other side dishes of Beef Fat Chips (£9) and Mushroom with Smoked Egg Yolk (£12) were nice if unremarkable. 

Whilst the restaurant is still in its opening week, standards here need to improve rapidly if it wants to compete with the its far superior neighbours, especially at the these prices!

 

 

 

 

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