New American cuisine in a swish St. James' setting
Category : Restaurant
Address : 7-9 St James' Street, St James, London, SW1A 1EE, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.avenue-restaurant.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Fri 12pm-4.30pm & 5.30pm-10.15pm, Sat 11am-4pm & 5.30pm-10pm
Private Dining Room : Details
London has experienced a veritable blitzkrieg of American food over the past decade, originating with the steak house and then branching out into burgers, barbecue and various others of their high-calorific ilk. However, in recent years sensibilities have changed to focus on 'New American' cuisine, with a focus on restaurants like Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the fresh, seasonally-farmed produce that they specialise. Avenue, the popular D&D restaurant on St James's Street, has been given a sensitive reboot this month, and we're very happy to introduce this upscale Yank-influenced eatery to our discerning Innerplace membership.
The dining room at Avenue was designed by Russell Sage and nods to the late, great Rick Mather's original design. The bright and airy space borrows as much from Scandinavia as it does from the Art Deco influences of uptown Manhattan, with an abundance of natural woods playing off the monochromatic walls, an effect that is reinforced by floor lighting. The setting is dominated by an ornate chandelier crafted from wine glasses with wine bottles displayed below, and there's a long bar running alongside one wall fashioned from mellow wood panelling, with stools designed by Young British Artist Gary Hume. Plush navy blue banquettes bring to mind New York, as does the artwork. The prevailing effect is a room that is casual yet glitzy, where diners can choose from either luxury comfort dishes or laidback fine dining.
Head chef Andras Katona has created a fresh menu of brasserie-style dishes. Montgomery cheddar and onion croquettes were a blissful way to launch into them, the crisp carapace cracking apart to reveal creamy molten cheese. Yellowfin tuna tartare with yuzu, herbs, trout caviar and whipped avocado was an effective palate cleanser that puckered the mouth. A main of seared scallops served in the half shell with leek fondue, vermouth velouté and crisp pancetta was light yet punchy, while Mr Frank's 12 hour spiced beef short rib was anything but light - a Fred Flintsone plinth of meat on the bone. We were hard pressed to fit anything else in but split a Valrhona chocolate tart with mascarpone and gold leaf, which was the perfect exit to an indulgent meal.
We're very happy to add Avenue to Innerplace's favoured coterie of restaurants. Innerplace members will now receive priority bookings with members and guests receiving a complimentary glass of Champagne upon arrival. Contact us at [email protected] for bookings.