Michelin-star hoarder Heinz Beck is back in London, and his new offering is the business
For one week in April, Instagram was awash with images of pale-pink langoustine atop a pepper-speckled serving of spaghetti. Thanks to the humble brags of those who were posting them, it didn’t take long to work out that they were taken in Beck at Brown’s
It’s the new Italian restaurant that scenesters want to be seen eating at. At its helm is Heinz Beck, the German-born chef whose restaurant in Rome holds the full hat-trick of Michelin stars.
I was told to expect ‘casual dining’. No pomp and ceremony with my pasta. You’ve been to Brown’s, right? This was anything but ‘cas’. One, it’s in a five-star hotel in Mayfair. Two, they take bookings. Three, there are white cloths (on the tables) – and white jackets (on the waiters).
The menu follows Italian tradition (insalate and antipasti, primi and zuppe, pesce, carne, and dolci) with the likes of a refined risotto with aged parmesan, olive oil and artichokes, chased by a red mullet ‘sandwich’ – think very posh fish-finger sanger – and tiramisu affogato. The ‘casual dining’ badge sort of makes sense here, though I prefer ‘approachable’.
The standout was that spaghetti cacio e pepe, its delicate topping of lime-marinated langoustine pleasingly fresh against the butter and cheese sauce. Sounds rich, but there’s a delicacy this and each of the courses that means you could comfortably make your way through all five. We didn’t struggle.
There’s no private dining room in Beck’s itself, but each of the hotel’s six events spaces are serviced by Heinz and his team. My favourite is the Clarendon Room, where the botanical theme of the restaurant is mirrored and groups of up to 70 can dine banquet-style.
Though, it’s the restaurant itself where one will impress a client. The space benefits from numerous dividers and table arrangements, which means quiet conversations come naturally. On my visit, a number of tables had been taken over by business types, from a group of five in a corner booth to a one-on-one framed in a window.
Make sure you move into the adjoining and relaunched Donovan Bar for post-dinner drinks. Mixology maestro Salvatore Calabrese has created a menu of vintage, signature and one-off cocktails. Drink them in the Naughty Corner – the 12-capacity area is where done deals can be celebrated (semi) privately.
Private dining 10, 14, 16, 60, 60, 120