Dec 22, 2018 | By Meghna Sarkar
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Bringing a dose of New York cool to London’s West End, Hotel Chantelle is the hot new hang out for fine dining with an edge. But it’s not just about the food – this is a place to see – and be seen – while enjoying some of the most stylish interiors in the city.
Where: 23 Orchard Street W1H 6HL / 44 (0)20 7299 2522
What: Eat & Drink
Three reasons we love it…
1. The food (and drink). The food at Hotel Chantelle is clearly the main draw. Headed up by Executive Chef Seth Levine, it blissfully pairs upscale American cuisine with playful French fare in a way that is fresh, original, and almost always unexpected. We started with cocktails, myself ordering the cheekily named Daddy Issues – a refreshing blend of rose, esprit di june, aperol, lemon and fizz – while my guest enjoyed the gin-based Libertine.
For starters, we were presented with two beautifully elegant plates of food, one being the popular Waffle-crusted fried chicken with maple syrup cotton candy, and the other the most delicious Surf n Turf, which comprised Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, scallop tartare and Caviar vinaigrette.
Both were equally as beautiful to look at as they were to taste, and perfectly demonstrative of the creative culinary talent of Levine. Indeed, at Hotel Chantelle, guests can expect truly unique and inventive presentations, as well as unpredictable food pairings which should keep them coming back for more. Our mains were just as good, having ordered the Bloody Mary Chicken, and the Rack of Lamb which was succulent, flavoursome and surprisingly textural with the addition of quinoa, while the desserts, though more pared down than the mains, are great for those with a serious sweet tooth.
Of course, the quality and spectacle of the dishes come at a price, with mains at around £20-40, so if you can’t quite justify it, there’s also a brunch menu on weekends which comes in slightly cheaper, but with the added bonus of live jazz performances curated by Dandy Wellington – providing the perfect excuse to treat yourself to Levine’s culinary genius at a lower price point.
2. The Interior. The influence of its sleek New York sister restaurant is more than apparent here, inspired by the typical rooftop dining spaces you see in the city, and complete with plush leather seating, dimly lit, low hanging lighting, and hues of deep red across the space. Spread over 2,500 sq ft, the restaurant and bar boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, with a gorgeously green vertical wall garden and exclusive wall murals by New York street artist Bradley Theodore, known for his colourful skeletal paintings of fashion industry figureheads including Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. The overall aesthetic is modern and sexy, yet relaxed at the same time, and equally as good a venue for drinks with friends, or a dinner date.
3. The service: Expect the highest standard of service here – the waiting staff are attentive, but never overbearing. Armed with an excellent knowledge of the menu and drinks, they are always ready to make suggestions and recommendations should you so desire. Given that the prices are pretty high end, one could be forgiven for thinking the staff might be a little stuffy, but it’s not the case here.
Undeniably glamorous-looking and focused on attention-to-detail, yes, but charming and friendly too, allowing diners to feel totally at ease. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of other diners, having noted the dress code of ‘dressy chic’ (which left some recent visiting journos perturbed) we were pleasantly surprised to find the atmosphere was more relaxed than expected, and didn’t spot a suit in sight, so nothing to worry about there.
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