My lovely wife has been suffering of late with a bad cough. It has curtailed her social activities somewhat and left her feeling fed up. To cheer her up I managed to get us tickets to see Suzanne Vega at the Barbican. Seeing Suzanne Vega has always been a bit of a bucket list item for her so this perked her up no end. Baby G had been safely left with his grandma and we ventured out into an unusually dry London. Where to eat first though. There are a few places up by the Barbican itself but a quick look at a map showed us Farringdon was only a short walk away so we pitched up at the one of the latest outposts of the Burger & Lobster empire. My lovely wife used to work up there and the B&L site has up to now been a bit of a white elephant. In the last 4 years it has been an American style bar, high end Skandi restaurant and lastly a Bistrot Du Vin. None survived as it's not great for foot traffic and the site itself is big to fill. However the B&L team seemed to have cracked it based on our visit last Sunday.
B&L has always been about a more than reasonable lobster. They very wisely invested in their bars to ensure that it's a destination drinking place. Thus in Farringdon you enter through a big well turned out bar, lots of strip wood give it a warm feel. Even though it was early there were no tables for two left but instead we were offered seats around the kitchen bar. This is at the back behind the bar and works well to give the space a separate bar and restaurant identity. Our perches were actually very good as you got to see the chefs at work prepping the lobsters. It was possibly a little smoky as we were right by the grill but they did have good ventilation over the kitchen. We were a little short of time and went for burgers instead of our usual steamed lobster. These were good though for some reason not as great as the one they do at Mayfair, not sure why.
The place soon filled up and by the time we left it was full which is quite an achievement. I really liked how the restaurant was laid out, it's a better use of space than their Soho outpost which feels quite corporate. Farringdon is much more in keeping with the charming Mayfair out post. Our lovely cocktails helped wash down the burgers and we departed around £60 poorer but well fed and in plenty of time for Suzanne Vega and her support. Service was professional but not as friendly as I've enjoyed at Mayfair or Soho B&L , In all a good experience but I'd expect nothing less from the Goodman/B&L stable. The concert itself was very good, coughing was kept to a minimum though poor Suzanne Vega had to start Tom's Diner again after she sang verses in the wrong order!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8