RESTAURANT REVIEW: Venetia van Kuffeler visits Cafe Biltmore, a restaurant concept from world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurateur Jason Atherton
CAFE BILTMORE might be Mayfair’s best kept secret. It’s the in-house dining establishment of Grosvenor Square’s recent glossy addition, The Biltmore Mayfair. A restaurant concept from world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurateur Jason Atherton, Cafe Biltmore is a relaxed restaurant with a newly expanded pretty, al fresco space found at the heart of the hotel, surrounded by colourful artwork, green foliage and sparkling lights, making it the ideal spot for entertaining or
socialising in the heart of Mayfair.
Kicking off in the bar with a glass of cold house Moet for me and a ‘Russian Spring Punch’ (Belvedere vodka, Champagne, crème de cassis and lime) for him, and some deliciously truffled salty snacks, we were off to an auspicious start.
The restaurant’s philosophy is simple: a casual menu of modern takes on world classics that showcase the seasons at the same time as delighting the senses. Expect seasonal salads, fresh fish and meats straight from the Japanese charcoal grill, along with a taste of the Mediterranean with wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta dishes.
As ‘simple’ as Atherton’s menu claims to be, starters on offer included tempting options like cured Loch Duart salmon, ponzu dressing, finger lime, coriander and chilli or Beef carpaccio, served with rocket, aged parmesan and truffle dressing. His Dorset crab on sourdough toast, with confit lemon, yoghurt and sea herbs, was declared a triumph, and my moreish crispy calamari with a Thai dressing and sweet chilli dip packed a tangy punch.
On to the next course, we had our heads turned by the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich in a brioche bun with ‘Churchill’ sauce, and the grilled Cornish plaice, served with a citrus hollandaise, but settled on a magnificently tender sirloin steak cooked over charcoal with green salad, béarnaise sauce and fries, and a grilled beef burger with Fontina cheese and crunchy onion rings. This is excellent food. The menu is a lovely combination of light dishes and more hearty indulgences, perfect for all appetites and occasions. After sharing the extravagant Valrhona chocolate moelleux with milk ice cream, we left the building clutching our sides. Perhaps the third course was not entirely necessary.
Away from the main dining room, The Chairman’s Room is a delightful private dining room that can seat up to 14, and would be ideal for groups to enjoy a special occasion or hold a lunch meeting. Bespoke menus can be designed especially for this private area, along with optional wine pairings curated by expert sommeliers.
Furthermore, I am told that exciting things are to come: a fine dining restaurant and new 1920s bar from Atherton will be opening shortly.
CAFE BILTMORE +44 (0)20 7596 3200