I was having a chat with one of my friends who had some of these restaurants on her wishlist and we started having an interesting debate about the various mid-high end restaurants in Fitzrovia.
Here is my completely subjective comparison:
This place got a Michelin Star and is now pretty well-known – however out of the four restaurants we discussed, this is probably my least favourite. There is nothing wrong with it – the cooking is classic with a twist, the service was decent and it was busy when we visited and had a nice atmosphere. But we just didn’t warm to it somehow – it was just a touch too expensive for us to be regulars, and whilst we enjoyed the food and drink, we just weren’t blown away. We had slightly scatty service but to be fair, we went quite early on, and the fact it has a star means the opening wrinkles must have been ironed out. It says something about the food options in the area that it comes fourth in our list.
We’ve been to this place a couple of times now – the menu is genuinely interesting, as is the wine list, and the service is very good, with knowledgable staff. But again, it is a touch on the expensive side for us to go every week and for us probably ranks three out of these four (but you should definitely go and try it!)
Out of the four listed here, this is the newest opening. I would describe the food as classic with modern touches and it certainly is very comfortable – a proper white tablecloth place, and very high levels of service. Interestingly on the night we went there seemed to be more tourists than we normally see in other restaurants in the area (we live in Fitzrovia), which I would put down to the fame of the chef, but still it managed to feel like a high end local. The food was less experimental than Clipstone and Portland, but we just really enjoyed it and had a great time (and somehow didn’t mind the expense). I would be very surprised if this doesn’t get a Michelin Star next year. I would put it at second place in this list.
This is definitely our favourite; it is run by the same people as Portland but is its younger, more informal sister. The drink list is just as interesting as Portland and the food really tasty. It has no pretentions to be a Michelin Star place but then, it’s just great to have a really great local restaurant. We go back when we can (and when we remember); for us it is the top out of the four.
Aside from these four there is also the incredible Kitchen Table on Charlotte Street which is definitely worth visiting; it is just so different from these that it doesn’t bear comparison. On the other hand, I am not a fan of Pied a Terre and I wouldn’t put it as a realistic alternative to these four mentioned above.
We are lucky to have so many great restaurants on our doorstep!