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Restaurant openings to watch in 2017

Clare Smyth

One of the most hotly anticipated openings of the year will be the debut solo venture of Clare Smyth, former chef patron at 3 Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea.

Smyth will go it alone this year, having worked for Ramsay for over a decade and acquiring a stake in his eponymous site.

News emerged this week that she has secured an as yet unnamed site at Kensington Park Road in Notting Hill, which was home to Prue Leith’s eponymous restaurant Leiths for 26 years. The opening is slated for early summer and details of the dishes are being kept under wraps.

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

The closure of the two Michelin star Hibiscus in Mayfair last year was one of the capital’s most high profile casualties of 2016. Now tempestuous chef Claude Bosi is back with an ambitious new project at Terence Conran’s Bibendum on the Fulham Road.

As part of the project the popular oyster bar on the ground floor will remain, with a casual restaurant opening downstairs and a more fine dining proposition upstairs. The venture is slated to open in March.


MasterChef: The Professionals presenter Monica Galetti, former sous chef of Le Gavroche, is soon to open her first solo venture, Mere, in Fitzrovia.

Named after the French word for mother, Mere is a joint project with Samoa-born Galetti’s sommelier husband David. The site will offer high-end seasonal French dishes with a twist in a relaxed, casual setting.

Mere will be split across two levels with a bar on ground level and the main restaurant in the basement.


Michelin-starred boy wonder Ollie Dabbous is back with a new venture called Henrietta at the boutique Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden in collaboration with Chinatown’s Experimental Cocktail Club. In keeping with Dabbous’ cooking philosophy, dishes at the 80-cover venue will be simple and seasonal in their focus, with subtle nods to France along the way.

Alongside the food offering, drinks historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller will be curating the drinks menu, featuring freshly sourced ingredients from around the UK.

La Dame de Pic

Multi Michelin-starred French chef Anne-Sophie Pic will open her first London restaurant at London’s new Four Seasons hotel at 10 Trinity Square in the City. Pic is the only French female chef to hold three Michelin stars.

Her London venture is tipped to be “casually elegant” and will showcase “dishes that are rich in powerful and unexpected flavour combinations, complemented by a carefully curated wine list”.

Hai Cenato

You don’t have to wait long for a new Jason Atherton venture to make headlines. Having just opened Victorian-themed Temple and Sons in the City, the restless chef is now turning his attention to Italy, with a New York-inspired pizzeria and pasta palace in Victoria’s burgeoning Nova complex.

In addition to pasta and pizza, expect risottos, grilled dishes, antipasti and cocktails on tap.

Martha Ortiz at the InterContinental

Top Mexican chef and avid cookbook writer Martha Ortiz, who runs Dulce Patria in Mexico City, is opening a restaurant at the InterContinental hotel on Park Lane where she joins Theo Randall.

With Mexican-inspired interiors by David Collins (of Brasserie Zédel and Bob Bob Ricard fame), Ortiz is promising to deliver “the beauty, vibrancy and spirit of Mexico to London in a total experience of the senses”.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten at The Connaught

Highly decorated French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who runs Michelin starred restaurants around the world, including the three-starred Jean‑Georges in New York, is due to open a ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant at The Connaught in Mayfair this year following the closure of his London restaurant Spice Market last year.

“I hope to create a new restaurant at The Connaught that reflects both my signature farm to table cooking style but with a few surprises. I’m excited to make my return to London, one of the most vibrant and dynamic food destinations in the world,” he told the Evening Standard.


The team behind one of the most exciting openings of 2015 – Pidgin – are back with a bang this year. In keeping with the aviary theme, the new venture by James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy has been christened Magpie, which aims to shake up central London dining via 30 modern British dishes priced between £3-30 served from customised trollies.

Among the local seasonal dishes on offer will be pizza dough with brown butter butter; chicken heart popcorn with hot sauce; koji-grilled corn, mussels with miso and beef dripping toast; and duck rillettes with sourdough and nukazuke pickles. Pidgin’s Margot Tyson has put together the wine list featuring 10 reds and 10 whites by the glass, while a cocktail trolley will serve pre-mixed classics.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

The Neapolitan pizzeria made famous by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love is coming to the capital. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is often name checked as making the best pizza in the world, so when news broke about the opening late last year, Londoners got very exited indeed.

To enjoy a slice of the good stuff, you’ll need to make the pilgrimage to Stoke Newington for Margheritas, Marinaras and wines from Campania.

Bob Bob Exchange

Bob Bob Ricard in Soho is to get an edgier little sister in the form of Bob Bob Exchange in the capital’s financial heart. The brainchild of Russian restaurateur Leonid Shutov, BBX will feature live fine wine auctions every half hour.

Due to launch this spring in the Leadenhall Building, known as the “cheese grater”, the 180-cover venue will take over the third floor of the building and will mirror BBR’s booth format. In the “executive class” private dining room, guests have their own bar and private jet style seating.

Wines that are auctioned off on the trading platform will start at cost price with diners given the chance to compete for them via display screens dotted around the restaurant. The house Champagne will be poured from methuselahs and Bob Bob Ricard’s popular “press for Champagne” button will feature at the site. But what of the food? Seasonal meat, fish and veg will be cooked over an open flame or smoked in-house. 

Hawksmoor Borough Market

The Hawksmoor bunch can do no wrong, and now they’re about to open a sixth site right next to db towers in Borough Market – how thoughtful. Expect sensational steak and all the sides, including their ridiculously delicious triple cooked chips.

The 160-cover venue will be a behemoth, where specials will include the likes of scallops, beef butter & horseradish; Barnsley chop with kidneys roasted in their own fat; and charcoal-roasted skate with St George’s mushrooms.

Sushisamba Covent Garden

City slicker playground Sushisamba is opening a second London site in Covent Garden this spring, bringing its Brazilian/Peruvian/Japanese fusion food to central London.

Further details of the venture are being kept under wraps but expect flappingly fresh fish dishes and killer cocktails by liquid alchemist Rich Woods.

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