Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: wining, dining and resigning.
On a wine mission
Hip Hackney wine bar Sager + Wilde will get a sibling in August. Owners Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde will launch The Mission in a railway arch on Paradise Row in Bethnal Green. Though great wine across the board will again be its focus, this time there will be a particular emphasis on Californian offerings, including an own-branded Sager + Wilde Pinot Noir. American cocktails and a food menu that blends Californian and Italian wines are also promised. The bar’s name comes from the fact California’s very first sustained vineyard was planted at Mission San Diego.
More fine wining
London has shown its muscle in two significant wine awards this week. Covent Garden’s Clos Maggiore won a Wine Spectator Grand Award, recognising a list of more than 1,500 superior wines. It was one of just six restaurants globally to be newly awarded and the only one outside of America. The World of Fine Wine also named its selection of the world’s top wine lists and London easily came out on top in Europe, with our total of 16 awards leaving Rome (4) and Paris (3) firmly in the shade. We were trumped by New York’s 36 wins, though. London winners included Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Lutyens and Champagne and hotdog restaurant Bubbledogs.
Chinatown hotel and restaurant One Leicester Street has been bought by the team behind US diner-style bars Honky Tonk in Chelsea and Clapham. It is still trading in its current form, but is due to close and relaunch in its new guise by the end of the year. The site has not had much luck. Before One Leicester Street, it was occupied by the St John Hotel (from Fergus Henderson of St John and St John Bread & Wine), but this went into administration in October 2012.
A blank canvas
Marylebone restaurant Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider has also closed. The Swiss chef launched the ‘build your own tasting menu’ restaurant in January this year, offering nothing other than set menus, but allowing diners to choose to make them up themselves from a bank of 16 dishes. Riemenschneider is due to relaunch the restaurant in Chelsea in the next month or so, with a more relaxed format allowing for diners to have fewer courses than the tasting menu should they wish.
L’anima Café, the new, less formal and less pricey restaurant from Francesco Mazzei has opened up next door to big brother L’anima. It’s still a case of invited ‘friends and family’, but only until next week, when it will be open to all with 50% off the food menu. It then officially launches on 21 July. Barrafina has also now launched its much-anticipated second branch, on Covent Garden’s Adelaide Street, and all-day British eatery Strand Dining Rooms has launched close to Trafalgar Square.
Two more US-themed restaurants are coming to London. Delancey & Co will open in Fitzrovia this autumn, styled as a New York Jewish deli and serving salt beef sandwiches, smoked salmon bagels, Reubens, pickles and more. Then next year, American steakhouse group Smith & Wollensky opens on John Adam Street in Covent Garden. Elsewhere, it’s been announced that Greene King will open its first station pub as part of the redevelopment of Euston’s balcony area. And in out of town news, London-based steak restaurant group Hawksmoor has announced plans to debut outside of the capital, in Manchester next year.
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