Marylebone Dining Guide
Marylebone is the new "it" area of London.
The dense, red-brick Victorian neighborhood, owned by the Howard de Walden family, was once famous for doctors offices, charity shops, and bachelor flats that housed the fictional Sherlock Holmes. In the mid-1990s, the owners of the estate decided to change course and entice in restaurants and chic-retail shops to inject new life.
This revitalized area is as close as London gets to the urbanity of New York or Paris. It's now full of public-relations executives, bankers, and fashionistas who want solid apartments with elevators, security, and lots of nearby amenities. Think of it like the Upper East Side with better food.
Andre Balazs's Chiltern Firehouse is the epicenter of the scene. Paparazzi lurk at its entrance waiting for a taxi to drop off famous faces. Like it or hate it, Marylebone typifies London's ascendance to a serious restaurant culture.
Go With Clients
Artesian: At the Langham Hotel on Portland Place. A great entry point.
The Cavendish: This is a more inclusive, if equally refined, Chiltern variant. Bar as well as restaurant.
Chiltern Firehouse: It's been decades since a restaurant has caused such hype. The star of Andre Balazs's empire (if you can get in), it's the place for celebs of every profession. Is it worth it? Yes, if you want to be in the "in" crowd. The hype won't last forever, but it's fun now.
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe: Top-notch brasserie fare at semi-reasonable prices, plus a charming dining room.
L'Autre Pied: The restaurant that started the Marylebone-food revolution. Still sensational on every level. Sister of nearby Pied à Terre.
Go With Friends
The Bok Bar: A pub next to Chiltern, which means it attracts a similar set plus the wannabes. Fun people watching.
The Grazing Goat: A French village pub. Drinks and a solid restaurant for breakfast and weekend lunch.
Portland: The most important new restaurant to open in London in years. It captures the chic-casual urbanity of the revitalized Marylebone.
Carousel: The concept is a new chef almost constantly. Pop-ups taken to the next level. A great gimmick for spotting new or foreign talent.
Donostia: Basque-focused tapas. Have the cod cheeks with squid ink.
LATE NIGHT ...
Purl: The twin of Worship Street Whistling Shop. Excellent mixologists.
Cocoro: Authentic Japanese bar open til 4 a.m. Like a trip to Tokyo.
Go With Family
Fischer's: The Wolseley team goes Mitteleuropa. Think 19th century Vienna. Open almost around the clock.
Opso: Arguably best modern Greek in town, all served tapas style. Also open breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Le Relais de Venise: Some call it a French McDonalds. Actually, McD's offers more choice. Here it's steak. salad, dessert. Still, simple works.
Tommi's: Some say these are the best burgers in London. Easy and casual. Perfect for friends/family.
28-50: The numbers are latitudes for great wine regions. It's a wine-bar concept that works for dinner and a casual meal with the family as well as drinks.
Orrery: Orreries are mechanical models of the solar system. This means the children can learn astronomy while you celebrate a birthday or graduation. Expensive.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of Reserve, a Bloomberg Brief publication. Click here for the full issue and to request a subscription invitation.