The person who can dominate a London dining table can dominate the world, or so said Oscar Wilde. And boy, does this city have a lot of tables to choose from. Here is our round-up of the best bars and restaurants that emerged on the food scene in February.
Instead of simply previewing every one of the capital’s new dining spots, each has been tried and tested by Telegraph experts to make sure they’re up to scratch, including a residency from Gizzi Erskine, modern British eating in an East London gallery, and a ‘treehouse’ from Dominique Ansel.
Dominique Ansel Treehouse
It’s easy to write off Dominique Ansel’s first sit-down restaurant concept as another tourist attraction: the treehouse exterior looks blatantly constructed for Instagram – it’s in Covent Garden, aka social media snapping central – and you’ll almost always find a long queue at the ground-floor bakery. But venture upstairs to the bistro, and you’ll be wowed by the whimsical, intimate setup, with rope lights, flowing drapes and comfy seating nooks. Don’t expect a Cronut here; instead staff members welcome you with a warm basket of fresh-baked focaccia, brioches, sourdoughs and flatbreads.
The theme of baking, of course, extends to the rest of the menu. Pastry forms the backbone, from a flaky chicken liver mousse mille feuille, its gamey taste offset by strands of candied mandarin, to a steamy brioche pudding concealing lamb that has been slow-cooked in red wine for up to 10 hours – the ultimate winter comfort dish. The gnocchi deserves a special mention: it’s dusted with baking soda before being lightly crisped on the pan, resulting in feather-light pasta pillows that make a heavenly foundation for a snowfall of mimolette and Comté cheese. The roast chicken is executed flawlessly, with a perfectly crisped skin, thyme and chicken sausage stuffing and a side of burnt lemon. With small plates starting at £7 and mains from £10.50, the quality you get is well worth the price (and inevitable queuing time).