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Hot Tables: The Yanks Are Coming

Never mind the Superbowl, the real action is at the dining table

Written by . Published on February 2nd 2012.

Hot Tables: The Yanks Are Coming

YOU can buy your Superbowl book from Opus for a cool $10,000 or put the same on to the New England Patriots and walk off with $16,6800 if they win against the New York giants on Sunday – given that betting is technically illegal in the USA, there is an extra frisson in getting your money on this side of the pond. The Giants to win by 7-12 points is 7/2. Or you can save your money and bet on New York’s restaurateurs who are heading to London in an all out bid to turn us into the 51st state.

The biggest pitch of all could be Manhattan’s veteran Keith McNally, (well actually he is an ex-pat)  of the revered Balthazaar and the man the New York Times once wrote who “invented Downtown” heading home with a private deal funded by the Caprice’s Richard Carling to take over the old Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. Watch this space… 


Already rocking is Burger & Lobster (29 Clarges Street, Mayfair W1J 7EF), the no menu, no starters, no fuss new venue from steak aficionados Goodman. Everything is £20 which is going some for a hamburger but this is Mayfair. The buns – which are always the tricky bit with a burger that most people get wrong – are baked on site. Lobsters arrive from Nova Scotia three times a week. Great cocktails too. No booking, so expect to queue.

For half the price, Red Dog Saloon (37 Hoxton Square, Shireditch N1 6NN) sells burgers for £10 in Hoxton Square which has imported a smoker to get an authentic Southern barbecue flavour using hickory and mesquite, and can slow cook meat for up to sixteen hours…


Also, of course, Wolfgang Puck's Cut (45 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1PN) is new at the Dorchester, and the often-overlooked Missouri Angel in America Square, EC3 promising USA fine dining.

Just about to open in Soho is La Bodega Negra (Moor Street, Soho W1D 5NN), a taqueria and Mexican café on Moor Street, and a larger restaurant with a bar on Old Compton Street designed by nightclub visionist Serge Becker responsible among others in New York for the Mercer Hotel, Bowery Bar and Miss Lily’s. There will be a tequila menu as well as the mandatory ceviche, tacos and tostados. Becker is also rumoured to be looking at Notting Hill for another of his New York Mexican ideas, La Esquina.

Meanwhile Andre Balazs, the man behind the Mercer Hotel itself is revamping the old fire station in Chiltern Street, Marylebone as an uber boutique hotel and plans to bring in his chic Meatpacking District diner The Standard Grill (Chiltern Street, Marylebone W1U 6LT). It is an all day operation starting with waffles, French toast, a raw bar in the day and ending up with Million Dollar chicken for two off the grill.

Having taken New York, Miami and Vegas... the next stop for Sushi Samba (110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY), the Japanese/Peruvian/Brazilian fusion mix up is heading for the new Heron Tower at Liverpool Street in what was the Sky bar – that’s right on the very top – and another rooftop bar operation is slated for the west end.

Now that the BBC techies have decamped to Salford, their old Marconi Building on Portland Place is being turned into a hotel by Sir Norman Foster and will be the first non-USA outpost for STK (Portland Place, London W1A 1AA) steakhouse which bills itself as “not your daddy’s steakhouse” with some Vogue-esque girly come-ons at their NYC website. The menu claims to be waistline conscious, ideal for Dukan dieters then…

Brooklyn BiteOn that much failed site, lastly Napket on Kings Road opposite the cinema, arrives Brooklyn Bite from Ilias Nathaniel, an all day diner offering “authentic New York” eighteen-inch pizzas to share or take out and a speakeasy in the basement.

The champagne bar Flute (4 Great Portland Street, London W1W 8PA), already has New York City and Paris outlets and has opened on Great Portland Street and you can take an intelligent look at your drinking with their masterclasses…more than 100 varietals are stocked.

Another USA import is the doggy bag thanks to a campaign by Too Good To Waste to cut down waste in London restaurants. Woof, woof.

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