Thursday, 14 January 2010

Dean Street Townhouse

69-71 Dean Street
London W1D 3SE
020 7434 1775

Just had lunch at the Dean Street Townhouse; smart restaurants now make a point of calling to "re-confirm your table" on the day of the booking. This means if they don't get through you have to call back. I find all this a bit tiresome. Its understandable why they do this but its still a bit annoying and I say so irritated by having to call back to the lady managing the booking diary at DTH. She is very charming about my complaint which is not with her but just a rant about the process and when I arrive at the restaurant she remembers and is even more charming. DTH also gets full marks for service of the meal. It is unobtrusive, faultless, very professional.

The place is self consciously old clubland. Across Dean Street from the Groucho Club in what used to be a Pitcher & Piano branch it could be a stage set for an Agatha Chrisite Poirot set in the 1930s. Captain Hastings would have felt very comfortable. There are red leather banquettes, white table cloths and the sort of polished faux silver cutlery you would have found on the Queen Mary liner. There is a long bar with beautiful copper pillars.

The menu is also old clubland in spirit only much better. I have grilled cornish sardines meltingly soft but not overcooked, perfect; my colleague grilled squid, spiced chickpeas (bit more modern brit this, other offerings include dorset crab, potted ham, prawns and avacado and oysters). To follow I have Salt beef, caraway dumplings and pickle. The beef is flaky tender, the pickle pungently delicious. The red leg partridge, braised lentils and root vegetables my colleague has is beautifully presented and he finds it just as delicious. Prices are fairly standard for high quality central London: £15.50 and £16.50 for the main courses. We have a stylish and not too expensive Spanish red wine from Navarra for £22: Artazauri Garnacha 2007 Bodegas Artazu.

The restaurant and hotel (it has 39 rooms) is owned by Richard Caring (who now owns Le Caprice, J Sheekey, Annabel's etc) who bought a majority stake in Nick Jones' Soho House Group in 2008. The restaurant has its own entrance and doesn't have the ambience of a hotel restaurant at all. This is Caring/Jones first joint venture. Perhaps particularly given this heavyweight corporate ownership DTH is an impressively original one off almost faultlessly executed.

Dean Street Townhouse on Urbanspoon

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