Source: EightyFour

Michelin-Starred Portland Plans Low-Price London Restaurant

Leading chefs are opting for lower prices, more casual service as some diners turn their backs on fine dining.

Portland, one of London's most feted new restaurants, will gain a sibling serving inexpensive dishes in a casual environment, reflecting a growing trend away from fine-dining establishments in the U.K.

Clipstone will open in early August near Portland in Marylebone. The menu will feature cold cuts, salads and pizzas such as slow-cooked goat, burnt aubergine, ricotta and fresh mint. Dishes may include smoked and glazed pig head, buns and fermented cabbage; and roasted Cornish skate, lemon, fried capers and summer greens.

The Portland team from left, Stuart Andrew, Will Lander, Merlin Labron-Johnson and Daniel Morgenthau.
The Portland team from left, Stuart Andrew, Will Lander, Merlin Labron-Johnson and Daniel Morgenthau.
Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg

The cold cuts are likely to be priced at about £5 ($6.60), small plates at £7, pizzas at £10 and larger plates at about £12-£14.

"It is going to be more informal and casual but the food will make sense if you are a  regular at Portland," said co-owner Will Lander, who opened Portland with his business partner, Daniel Morgenthau. The pair approached the owner of nearby Fat Lorenzo's earlier this year and he agreed to let them have the site for Clipstone.

Portland was an immediate hit when it opened in January 2015, serving modern European food with big flavors. The restaurant attracted enthusiastic reviews and won a Michelin star in its first year.

The short menu, which changes daily, features snacks such as cheese macarons at £3, a starter of chilled cream of courgette with gooseberries and almonds at £10 and a main of middle-white pig, peach, grilled onion and pistachio at £26.

Those prices are not high by London's inflated standards. There are no tablecloths and the service is anything but stiff. Clipstone marks a further step down the casual road that has drawn some of the city's leading chefs, including Fergus Henderson with St. John Bread & Wine and Marcus Wareing with Treadwell's.

Portland head chef Merlin Labron-Johnson will become executive chef in charge at both restaurants, while Stuart Andrew will move across from Portland to become head chef at Clipstone. Unlike at many new new venues, bookings will be available.

Clipstone will be at 5 Clipstone Street, London, W1W 6BB.

Richard Vines is chief food critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and on Instagram @richard.vines

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