Quo Vadis Soho, London, 4/28/18

exterior
exterior

Quo Vadis is small place with about 8 tables in the dining room along with 5 stools at the bar.  Upstairs they have some party rooms as well as a private club space.   A couple tables are outside, if the weather cooperates.  One artist has provided graphics for their menu as well as doing large drawings for the dining room walls.  The tables are close and covered with white clothes and set with matching white napkins. A lower ceiling, no background music, lowered lighting and a large stained glass window that looks out to the street set a comfortable ambiance.  The place opened in 1926 as an Italian restaurant and in the 2000s became the cozy little place it is now.  The menu changes fairly regularly and it is only a la carte.   The portions are suitable for sharing and lots of sides are offered.  The staff are super friendly and enthusiastic.   Continue reading

LYLE’S, London, 4/28/18

building
building

LYLE’S is a medium sized one star Michelin restaurant that served only a la carte when we were there for lunch.  At night they do a tasting menu.  They opened in April 2014 and the restaurant was named after the chef’s mother’s maiden name.  It has a large open kitchen on one side of the space and windows to the street on the opposite side.  Pop/rock music plays in the background and the bare wood tables are set with un-cushioned chairs.  It’s a casual atmosphere with white brick and tile walls, concrete floor, exposed ductwork and some seating at the bar.  The menu changes daily.  The kitchen was happy to split dishes or have you do so at the table and portion sizes lended itself to sharing.  Service was friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

Pollen Street Social, London, 4/27/18

building
building

Pollen Street Social is a large one star Michelin restaurant that spans several rooms.  You enter in the bar area where there is a long counter and a few tables and the main dining rooms are just behind there.  The lighting is fairly dim, jazz music plays in the background, there’s lots of art on the walls, the main kitchen is seen through a glass and the dessert kitchen is open to the dining rooms.  It has some stools at the counter where one can come just for dessert.  Lots of windows look out to the street and the small tables are fairly well spaced, with some utilizing bench seating along the wall.  There is a hum of conversation in the room with noise making conversation sometimes difficult.  They have been open 7 years but service is still plenty attentive, helpful and friendly.  Pacing of the meal was nicely done.  They have a large a la carte menu as well as a tasting one.   We chose to order a la carte and split some of the dishes.   Continue reading

Core, London, 4/27/18

building
building

CORE by Clare Smyth is a medium sized restaurant that has been open since last August (about 9 months).  The casual but elegant feel of the place is enhanced by well spaced tables, some of which sit on carpet rounds that help absorb sound.  In addition the ceiling is in different heights with more sound absorbing material and thus conversation is easy.  The bare wood tables were set with lovely cloth napkins decorated with a tiny bouquet of flowers.  There were two larger round booth seats on one wall but most of the tables have their own comfortable chairs.  Another wall had some windows to the street, so in the daytime there was lots of natural light.  You enter into the well stocked bar area where there is more seating and walk by the glass walled kitchen on the way to the dining room.  No music was in the background but some art was on the walls as well as some bookcases with interesting objects and books.   Continue reading

Roganic, London, 4/26/18

sign on the street
sign on the street

Roganic is a medium sized place with a modern style decor that opened last January.  Their test kitchen restaurant, Allus, opened in the last of 2017.   The dining room is set with white table cloths and napkins and chairs are fairly comfortable. Modern wood features supply the low level of lighting and no music is in the background. The noise level is a bit high making conversation and hearing soft spoken servers difficult at times. Service staff are friendly and nice.  They offer two tasting menus only, with good pacing and portion control.  We chose the longer menu, started with a cocktail and then ordered our own wine.  The surprise menu is available in written form at the end of the meal (or you can cheat and look early). Continue reading

The Ledbury (update), London, 4/26/18

entrance
entrance

This was our third visit to Ledbury, a 2 star Michelin that opened around 2005, but the first visit for lunch.  At lunch they offer a full tasting menu of 6 courses as well as a set lunch of 4 items or a 4 course menu with choices for each course.  There are just 18 nicely spaced tables set with lovely white clothes and napkins along with a different object of art.  The wood floor and columns add to the serene room that has lots of windows and mirrors.  Fancy chandeliers add lighting but in the day the windows bring in plenty of natural light.  The noise level is non-existent but conversations still feel private.  There are a huge number of service people that are helpful, friendly and often smiling.  We chose the four course tasting where we picked our options and of course they added more to it.  Brett Graham is the The Chef but on our visit Greg Austin, Head Chef who has been the there for 9 1/2 years, was running the kitchen.  Regardless of which is there, this place is worth putting on your list. Continue reading

The Clove Club (update), London, 4/25/18

entrance
entrance

Clove Club is a large for a one star Michelin restaurant.  It has a main dining room that serves only the longer of two tasting menu options. We sat in the bar area that requires you to prepay for the shorter tasting menu but offers the option to upgrade to the longer menu when you arrive. Both menus are available in printed form. Bare wood tables and no clothes add to the noise level issues however when we last ate here we were in the main dining room and it was also noisy. Service is friendly and helpful and pacing and portions of the menu are nicely done. Wine pairings are available. We chose the longer tasting menu and ordered our own bottles of wine. Continue reading