Here’s the latest in our guide to eating out in the city. The Cavendish is a great place for those who enjoy something with a professional yet alluring touch. Marylebone plays home to this dynamic bar with a gorgeous blue velvet interior. Read on to find out what’s in store for you.
In three words: Theatrical, sexy, professional
The Lowdown: The brainstorm behind new restaurant The Cavendish reads like a tick list for success – hot new chef who means business? Check. Staff and general manager who have all cut their teeth at one of the premier members clubs in London? Check. A hip, dynamic space in the uber trendy Marylebone? Check and check.
Head chef Alfonso Lillo Fas has travelled from Spain, where he was trained at world renowned El Bulli restaurant, to take the helm of a kitchen promising to deliver food of the highest and freshest quality with a distinctly European feel. He is joined by manager Ermanno Della Valle who has extensive experience in top establishments such as George Club – and it is this upmarket idyll that pervades at The Cavendish. It’s exclusive – no doubt about that – but the key difference is there is nothing excluding about the place. Trendy, impressive, cool, and ever so welcoming – plus a menu that is exceedingly impressive.
Location: Marylebone is the stomping ground of rock stars, socialites and actors, making it the perfect spot to set up this swish new space fit for the A List. Flickering pillars of fire outside will draw revelers like moths to a flame.
The Occasion: The glamorous bar area downstairs is ideal for a cocktail with friends, while the restaurant calls for a special occasion or romantic dinner.
Decor: An interior of sumptuous blue velvet, exposed brickwork and studded chesterfield booths is both refined and stylish. The whole place is redolent of smart 1940’s gentleman’s style, right down to the leather bound menus.
Atmosphere: Downstairs is a dynamic, buzzing bar vibe, which becomes more elegantly sophisticated up in the restaurant. Upon entry you’ll be drawn into the welcoming arms of the attractive and smiling staff.
Culinary Concept: There aren’t exactly discernible starters and mains here – more a selection of dishes showcasing the best of modern, European-style cuisine. There’s a definite focus on quality raw creations – ceviche, tartar, oysters and caviar all make an appearance.
What we tried:
With such a fine selection of seafood, you can’t not indulge in some oysters to kick off the meal with pizazz. We tried the Carlingford Lough, Longwood Greek and Rock varieties, served shimmering on a platter decorated with seaweed. The sweet, meaty thrill of the ocean accompanied each swallow, set off with the heady fizz of Prosecco.
Civiche was a delectable trio of raw fish; cobweb-delicate in texture and each with their own individual qualities – a combination of sea-bass, artichoke and ginger made for a tantalising twist, while a wafer of parmesan atop the scallop added a mature, salty edge. Sweet, silky langoustine completed the three and had us rapturously singing the praises of the sea.
We continued the uncooked theme by indulging in their beef tartar, and this turned out to be the revelatory dish of the evening. A trolley laden with ingredients was wheeled out and the dish was prepared in front of us – this is another nod to the finesse of the members club, and is guaranteed to make anyone feel special. We watched as primed; tender muscle mixed with chilli oil, the golden coin of an egg yolk, and seasoning, all that’s needed to create a stupendous melt-in-the-mouth dish showcasing the height of tasteful components.
Add to this a Carabinero Prawn Risotto with just enough bite. It is an intense bisque and plump shellfish that we could have eaten twice, and the Vongole Linguine e Bottarga – a masterful mix of steamed clams, tomato and chilli, cooked at our table with fresh pasta and grated bottarga that made for flecks of gastronomic luxury, and we were caught hook, line and sinker.
For next time: Given our enjoyment of the courses already tried, we’d happily test out the whole menu. Chargrilled Yellowfin Tuna with roasted baby leeks sounds divine, and we bet they serve a mean ribeye steak.
Veggie delights: Starters like the Rainbow Beetroot Carpaccio and Purple Potato Ravioli sound ravishing, but this isn’t really the place for those that don’t eat fish.
Best of the booze: We started off with two Martinis – well, there’s a whole list of varieties to choose from! The cucumber offering was refreshing, crisp and gratifyingly not too sweet, while a martini with rosemary really packed an herbaceous punch. Given the professionalism of the bar staff we’d like to try a few more – both the Saffron Old Fashioned and the Rye Apricot Sour caught our eye.
Fun Fact: To really complete the experience post-meal why not pick something to puff from The Cavendish’s very own cigar menu? They have six varieties accompanied by tasting notes.
Overall: Everything about The Cavendish oozes quality and fine-dining – the awesome menu, superbly professional staff and even the chic uniforms. Combine this with a truly welcoming element and you have what is sure to be the next glittering star of the Marylebone elite.
35 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, London, W1G 9TR
020 7487 3030