Restaurant News: Where to Eat in London Right Now

Crustacean bar at Scott's

Where is Piers Morgan power lunching when he goes to London? Read on for THR's list of the city's five hottest power restaurants

London's power restaurant scene has five new eateries challenging some of the city's most established haunts. Sure, you can still often find Independent Talent Group chairman Duncan Heath, arguably the most powerful agent in the U.K. (clients include Michael Caine, Steve Coogan and Joe Wright), at his regular table at The Ivy in Covent Garden. And Cecconi’s Mayfair, Nobu Mayfair, and Locanda Locatelli (where Brad Pitt and Guy Ritchie rub shoulders with Working Title Films’ management) show no signs of slowing down. But if you're looking for a few alternatives, rush to make a reservation at one of these hotspots:

1. Scott’s The mosaic fan motif and the mosaics in the toilets designed by Martin Brudnizki put many a high-end home during the Roman Empire to shame. The menu features oysters as a star attraction (above) on a menu making fresh fish the star alongside seasonal game, meat and vegetarian dishes. It’s Mayfair so it's high prices, but Piers Morgan, Cheryl Cole, Thandie Newton, Elton John and others have been spotted enjoying the latest from restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King of the Ivy, J Sheekey and Caprice fame. Oh, and there's a private room for the truly discreet, hung with work by leading British artists, billed as "an intimate Art-Deco-styled room" that seats from 12-to-40 diners for lunch or dinner. It has hidden plasma screens, wireless Internet access and audio playback for all your upcoming slate presentation needs. 20 Mount St, W1K 2HE, +44 207 495 7309


2. Dean Street Townhouse Once home to great British artist William Hogarth, and later, as The Gargoyle a regular spot for Fred Astaire and later, Francis Bacon, this destination comes courtesy of the Soho House Group. It has the feel of a private-members-club dining room (the lounge is at left) but the fare is billed as authentic English, with comfort food should it be required — such as mince and potatoes, a dish of people of a certain age’s childhood. There’s also twice-baked smoked haddock souffle or a spring vegetable salad offered with a host of accompaniments such as chicory, pear, walnut and Barkham blue cheese or perhaps Cerney Goats cheese. Pathe U.K. managing director Cameron McCracken has been known to take lunches here with agents and producers, a swift walk from his office on the other side of Oxford Street. 69 - 71 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3SE, +44 207 434 1775


3. Polpetto With an intimate dining room that only seats 28 and a policy of not taking reservations for dinner, it is perhaps surprising this Italian eaterie has emerged one of the hottest tickets in town. At lunchtime when reservations are allowed, this place — located in the heart of Soho — buzzes with conversations about pilots, movie projects, sales and financing as well as the levels of legal fees that might accompany them. The menu consists of small plates and classic Venetian osteria dishes. And prices aren't eye-watering for mouth-watering eats. Industry folks squeeze in here at lunchtime to share a bottle of Gavi di Gavi and snack on crispy soft shell crab with Parmesan batter and fennel salad. Above the French House, 49 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BG +44 20 7734 1969


4. St. John Hotel An address right in the heart of London's west end and an underarm stone's throw from the location for world premiere after world premiere, this hotel and its restaurant, set up by Trevor Gulliver and architect-turned-chef Fergus Henderson, is geared up to be the next big thing. Only opening in the spring of this year on the site of seafood restaurant institution Manzi's, which closed after 60 years selling shellfish and such, the St. John Hotel is a 24-hour operation. Its room service boasts a real chef offering a real service from the kitchen. Daylight diners at lunchtime can sample roast duck and turnips or plaice (white fish), cucumber and samphire. (The restaurant's roast bone marrow and parsley salad is above.) Not yet, but soon stars and star makers will no doubt be trooping in and out the door. 1 Leicester St, London, WC2H 7BL, +44 203 301 8069


5. Pollen Street Social  It’s back to Mayfair for the fifth and final hot spot. Rising star chef Jason Atherton, a man who survived Gordon Ramsay's shouty, sweary training, is trying his hand at the helm of his own kitchen. A glass-fronted kitchen no less, so diners can marvel at the knife skills while not fearing for their lives. Cauliflower and squid for a starter and then halibut, Catalan paella, sprouting broccoli, pork-ham fat and mussel stock might be a pick for a hungry diner. Billed by Atherton as a place to eat, drink, and socialize — not only for special occasions, but also for simple everyday — its reputation is growing by the day. It only opened in April this year. 8/10 Pollen Street, W1S +44 7290 7600

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