Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: aperitivo, brewpubs and French fancies
Le Chateaubriand is one of the best known restaurants in Paris, currently ranked at 27 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Now, the team are bringing an outpost to London. Le Chabanais — named after a market town in south west France — opens on Mount Street in Mayfair in spring next year. The Paris original has an interesting approach to reservations, taking bookings from 7.30-8.30pm, and then accepting walk-ins for a second sitting from 9.30pm; it remains to be seen whether Le Chabanais will follow suit.
Central London has gained two new aperitivo bars this week. Russell Norman’s Ape & Bird pub on Shaftesbury Avenue (which we reviewed here) has all but turned into a Polpo, and with it comes a downstairs spritz bar. It joins the Campari bar at Polpo Soho, the Aperol bar at Polpo Covent Garden and the Negroni bar at Polpo Smithfield, and will run a daily Spritz O'Clock happy hour from 4-6pm, when all drinks will be £5.
Moments away in Soho, coffee and aperitivo bar Termini has been launched by Tony Conigliaro — the cocktail industry legend behind 69 Colebrooke Row and the bar at the Zetter Townhouse. It has a design inspired by grand Italian railway stations, and will serve coffees by day and cocktails by night, along with mini paninis for £1, cheeses and charcuterie.
Gastropub group ETM — which runs The Gun in Docklands, The Jugged Hare near Barbican and The Botanist in Sloane Square, among others — opens a new site in South Ealing towards the end of the year. The Ealing Park Tavern will take over what used to be the Lewis Furnell Brewhouse (which brewed beer from 1728 until the 1800s) and will include its own microbrewery. Bar snacks, full lunches and dinners and Sunday roasts will also be served.
Street food collective Kerb launches a new market concept next Friday (5 December). The Clubhouse is a fully-covered live music and street food site located in a former mirror factory in Hackney Wick. This venue will host semi-permanent diners run by Fundi Pizza and Bleecker St Burger, alongside Mexican offerings from Luardos, Sri Lankan from Kothu Kothu, soft-shell crab from Crabbie Shack and You Doughnut’s much-loved fresh filled doughnuts.
Locatelli on the look-out
Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli is looking for a pop-up site while his Michelin-starred restaurant Locanda Locatelli is closed. It was forced to shut last weekend after a gas explosion at the Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel in Portman Square, in which it is contained.
It’s a busy time for launches, as restaurants try to get in on the Christmas action. This week London has gained smoked meat restaurant Hotbox in Spitalfields, creative bistro The Manor in Clapham, another branch of antipodean brunch restaurant Brew in Putney, and more accessible The Ivy spin-off The Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden.
Tomorrow marks the launch of seafood restaurant Rex & Mariano in Soho, from the people behind Goodman and Burger & Lobster. And in Clerkenwell, posh kebab shop Chifafa opens its doors, giving out 500 free kebabs as it does so.
Next week sees the team behind Soho’s Copita launch tapas restaurant Copita Del Mercado in Spitalfields, Fraq’s Lobster Shack arrive in Fitzrovia, paleolithic restaurant Pure Taste open on Westbourne Grove, casual eatery The Green Room come to the National Theatre, and another branch of BRGR.co open on Chelsea’s King’s Road. It also marks the opening of Enoteca Rabezzana on Long Lane in Smithfields, a new wine bar and deli from the chef behind acclaimed Italian restaurant Acciuga on Kensington High Street.
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