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THE LAST WORD Wood-� red wizardry in the heart of Mayfair - this place is hot hot hot

THE LAST WORD A friendly, neighbourhood vibe backed

by top-drawer food - Fitzrovia has another hit on its hands

Portland

113 Great Portland Street, W1W 6QQ

020 7436 3261 Price £44

A collaboration between Will Lander

(co-owner of The Quality Chop House)

and Daniel Morganthau from 10 Greek

Street, this Fitzrovia newcomer feels like a

neighbourhood joint in the middle of town.

Wooden tables are cosily positioned to create

hubbub, sta‡ are friendly and it's the kind

of place that begs for return visits. An open

kitchen sits at the back of

the long dining room and

doesn't impose on the

jovial chit-chat from the

assembled company.

We'd recommend

sco‰ ng a couple of meaty

pig's head croquettes or

piquant pickled shiitake

with ginger while you

peruse the short, seasonal

menu - a mixed bag

new openings

WINE LIST

This short and traditional list majors on

France (notably the Rhône) with support

from classics such as Vinho Verde from

Portugal, Mosel Riesling, Chianti and Rioja,

plus a couple of big-hitting Burgundies.

Safe choices mean no thrills, but no horrors

either. BEST BUY Château de Montfaucon

Côtes du Rhône 2012, Rhône, France, £35.

of Anglo-European dishes with eclectic

overtones. Our chunky mackerel tartare

overlaid with thinly sliced beetroot was a

delight, but the star starter was a plate of

charred brassicas with a smoky egg emulsion

- evoking the last open ‘ res of winter.

To follow, a huge venison Wellington was

escorted to the table in a pan - to show o‡

its sheer length and girth - before returning

sliced on a plate with a side of red cabbage.

The result was pink and tender meat encased

in buttery pastry with mushroom pâté - a

dreamy combination.

Likewise, a dish of pink,

earthy wood pigeon with

all kinds of mushrooms

came bathed in smoked

onion 'tea' poured from a

pot at the table - a broth

so rich and fragrant it cried

out for some bread for

mopping up. To conclude,

rice pudding with Seville

orange and London honey

ice cream was a lightly citrusy, creamy bowlful

a world away from schoolroom stodge.

An enthusiastic sommelier • its from table

to table, dispensing advice on Portland's

clever wine list - one more inspiring touch

that Lander and Morganthau have brought to

this supremely accomplished newcomer.

WINE LIST

A clever selection of 'Textbook', 'Left� eld'

and 'Special' wines is supplemented by

a diverse Reserve List that contains real

gems from top names and great vintages

- all in limited quantities, meaning

wonderful new discoveries each time you

visit. BEST BUY Peninsula Pinot Noir 2013,

Crittenden Estate, Victoria, Australia, £45.

Kitty Fisher's

10 Shepherd Market, W1J 7QF

020 3302 1661 Price £65

One of the biggest success stories of early 2015,

Kitty Fisher's has 'instant classic' written all over it.

This place gets so many things absolutely bang-on,

from the moment that the three owners working

front of house introduce themselves by name, with a

handshake to boot. In the kitchen is rising star Tomos

Parry (Young British Foodie Chef of the Year 2014), who

works the wood-‘ red grill alongside Chris Leach, former

sous-chef at Pitt Cue Co.

Grilled bread features in two standout starters - a lightly

oiled version partnered by burnt onion butter, and an

even more intense combo spread with fennel butter and

whipped cod's roe. Elsewhere, roasted rye bread is topped

with roughly cut and assertively spiced steak tartare.

All the meat is excellent, from the waves of smoky, salty,

fatty • avour rolling from the lamb cutlets anointed with

anchovy, mint and parsley to the standout dish of

Galician steak: charred to a black crust, glistening

ruby-rare within and tasting of ripe, rounded

maturity - although even this showstopper is

almost outdone by its accompanying pink ‘ r

apple potatoes, dressed with grain mustard and

discharging gooey Tunworth cheese.

With just a couple of tables and bar stools at street

level, most dining takes places in a vaulted basement,

where illumination comes from candlelight and an open

kitchen. Meanwhile, the rather louche furnishings nod to

the eponymous Kitty Fisher herself: one can imagine the

18th-century courtesan dusting her cheeks with rouge the

same shade of pink as the button-backed banquettes.

Service is also top-drawer, with notably friendly young sta‡ .

If you add in some well-priced wines and reasonable value (for

Mayfair), it's no surprise that tables here are so hard to come by.

THE LAST WORD

works the wood-‘ red grill alongside Chris Leach, former

Grilled bread features in two standout starters - a lightly

even more intense combo spread with fennel butter and

whipped cod's roe. Elsewhere, roasted rye bread is topped

All the meat is excellent, from the waves of smoky, salty,

fatty • avour rolling from the lamb cutlets anointed with

anchovy, mint and parsley to the standout dish of

Galician steak: charred to a black crust, glistening

ruby-rare within and tasting of ripe, rounded

maturity - although even this showstopper is

almost outdone by its accompanying pink ‘ r

apple potatoes, dressed with grain mustard and

discharging gooey Tunworth cheese.

level, most dining takes places in a vaulted basement,

where illumination comes from candlelight and an open

kitchen. Meanwhile, the rather louche furnishings nod to

the eponymous Kitty Fisher herself: one can imagine the

18th-century courtesan dusting her cheeks with rouge the

same shade of pink as the button-backed banquettes.

Service is also top-drawer, with notably friendly young sta‡ .

If you add in some well-priced wines and reasonable value (for

Mayfair), it's no surprise that tables here are so hard to come by.

David Cameron

at Kitty Fisher's

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