For many of us around the world, living under lockdown, our favourite restaurants and bars remain off-limits. And as much as we salute the clever solutions of the hospitality industry, we cannot wait to make a reservation in a bricks-and-mortar restaurant again. Slick service, killer cocktails, brilliant food — and the wonderful throng of other people’s conversations. So, for now, let us dream, plan and bookmark.
Here, we share with you our must-visit restaurants for when we can do so once again. In fact, we recommend making such an occasion out of it that you book a hotel room nearby.
Louie is the latest from Parisian powerhouse restaurant group Paris Society, who are also behind Loulou and Perruche. Taking its influences from both New Orleans and Paris, you can expect exciting Creole cooking from Chef Slade Rushing with dishes such as seafood gumbo with crab rice and sweet potato truffle gratin on the menu. We’re looking forward to sitting out on the rooftop terrace with a Fugazy bourbon cocktail in hand.
Stay at Kettner's Townhouse in Soho, a two-minute walk away. Ask for the Jacobean Suite for the ultimate treat.
Francois O’ Neill joined forces with Ed Wyand (who was behind Hackney’s Verden) and chef Matthew Ryle (ex-Dorchester) to bring you an all-day brasserie near Piccadilly Circus. Although Gallic in character, the produce will be very British with Loch Ryan oysters shucked at lunchtime alongside charcuterie and terrines as well as heartier brasserie plates such as ravioli dauphine with comte and wood-fired John Dory.
Stay at Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, a short stroll away. It’s perfectly placed for stopping in at the Royal Academy the next day.
Osip is the diminutive farm-to-table restaurant in Somerset’s fashionable Bruton that everyone is talking about. The first solo restaurant from Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson, who won a Michelin star at the age of 24, it celebrates rural Somerset’s finest ingredients. For dinner, there is no menu but you can bet it includes multiple savoury courses, freshly baked bread, pudding and petit fours.
With a casual vibe in the 9th, Paris’ coolest arrondissement, Frenchie Pigalle is a free-spirited restaurant which describes its food as ‘sexy-trash’. Inspired by the travels of its globe-trotting chef Greg Marchand, the menu is deliberately fun and kinky — think sweetbread nuggets with caviar and you get the picture. Bon appetit.
Stay at Grand Pigalle, in the streets of the 9th arrondissement.
The hot Chinese restaurant in Paris, Gros Bao is on a mission to hero the signature dishes of the eight culinary styles of China. In the giant, all-red restaurant near the Canal St Martin, you will find peking duck, scallion pancakes and Sichuan mapo tofu . There is also a big bao counter and a bar serving up natural wines, craft beers and cocktails.
Stay at National des Arts et Metiers in the Marais.
Surrounded by layers of lush greenery in a beautiful glass conservatory, this hotel restaurant is a stunner to say the least. The menu focuses on the seasonal plates, making the most of its impressive neighbouring farmers and purveyors in the Hudson Valley area. Choose from dishes such as roasted beets with burrata, cavatelli with braised pork shoulder, pressed chicken and duck frites. And don’t forget the cocktails — we’ll be having an Oaxacan Old Fashioned.
Stay at The Maker of course. It is one of the most exciting new hotels to have opened recently in the area and it could not be closer to your table;
In December 2020, NYC’s iconic restaurant Dante opened its first location outside of the Big Apple in Aspen. Found at apres-hot spot the Snow Lodge, it brings a dose of the Italian Dolomites to the American Rockies. Come for the wild boar ragu, stay for the Espresso Martinis.
Stay at The Little Nell, the town’s favourite hotel.
Founded by Michelin-starred chef Joshua Gil and Matthew Egan, Marame combines the bold heritage of Mexican cuisine with a decidedly Californian sensibility. The cocktails are all about the farm-to-bar vibes with all the tequila and mezcal you would hope for. You are guaranteed a fancy (this is Beverly Hills, after all) and fun evening at Mirame — just what the doctor ordered at the end of lockdown.
Stay at Petit Ermitage which is walking distance to Mirame and has a seriously beautiful rooftop.
A neighbourhood restaurant on Abbot Kinney that is the fruit of a collaboration between chefs Pedro Aquino and Juan Hernandez who met while working at LA favourite Gjelina. Now they are getting to show off the food from their native Oaxaca where they are from next door towns. The tacos are the real highlight here, with delicious fillings such as pork belly and Baja shrimp.
Stay at Palihouse Santa Monica. A boutique beach lodge in Santa Monica.
Elegant, homely and in the lush area of Dempsey, Hathway is all about celebrating the myriad food cultures which influence Singapore: Indian, Malay and Perankan food, alongside French and Middle-Eastern. Uniquely, it’s an alcohol-free zone, something the restaurant’s founder Ivan Ting insisted upon as a mark of respect to Malay cuisine, which does not allow alcohol. However, the extensive mocktail menu using homemade ferments more than makes up for it.
Stay at The Warehouse Hotel. Old-world glamour with modern comforts, a 10 minutes cab ride from Hathaway.