OLDIES BUT GOODIES
OK, we admit it: chasing the latest restaurant openings is an obsession. But only
because there's nothing more satisfying than a debut that knocks it out of the
park, destined to become a much-loved legend that sticks around for decades.
Speaking of which, 2016 is a landmark year for loads of London's big hitters.
Squaremeal favourite Christopher's celebrates 25 years in Covent Garden this
July (roll a six at this former casino's bar for a free Martini), as does Fitzrovia's
Pied à Terre in early September, with founding partner Richard Neat returning
to the kitchen for one week. Fitzrovia's Gaylord can double that: the Indian
long timer is releasing its own
wine to mark its 50th birthday.
Fellow Indian Veeraswamy
leaves it for dust, clocking up
90 opulent years on Regent
Street, but Bentley's in Mayfair
wins - reaching the grand old
age of 100. Does that mean the
Queen's due in for oysters?
With two Michelin stars and a
mountain of other accolades, it
was rather a shock when chef Phil
Howard sold Mayfair's The Square
in March. Now Phil is opening up in
Chelsea with Rebecca Mascarenhas,
with whom he already co-owns
Kensington's Kitchen W8 and
Sonny's Kitchen in Barnes. Called
Elystan Street, the new project is
slated to launch in September on the
former Tom Aikens Restaurant site,
43 Elystan Street. Phil says: "I still
have unfi nished business with food."
Which means he'll be at the heart of
the kitchen, cooking "modern British,
delicious, clean, ingredient-led dishes,
full of natural vitality". Get in line.
VEERASWAMY'S RAJ KACHORI
From Dragons' Den to Bermondsey
Three years ago, Dallas-born Joe Walters and his beef jerky business made
a musical, Levi Roots-style appearance on Dragons' Den. He struck a deal
with Peter Jones who then reportedly changed his mind (scandalous), but
Joe's had the last laugh, with the July opening of Texas Joe's Slow Smoked
Meats in Bermondsey. As well as the opportunity to try barbecued mutton
shoulder and ribs (apparently it's popular in Texas) and side dishes such as
bone marrow with chilli salt, there's a separate bar with a honky-tonk vibe,
complete with jukebox, while the menus will run articles written by Texan
BBQ journos. We salute Joe's commitment to print publishing. JOE WALTERS