Food lovers: there’s a new flame in town

The 1990s celebrity hang-out is reborn as a pol­ished grill, says Ben­jamin Parker

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s not of­ten that I find my­self nurs­ing a po­tent Old Fash­ioned on a school night, while a great heft of meat is roasted just a sniff from my face. When I lived in Aus­tralia, maybe. Or per­haps those sum­mer days in Bri­tain when the sun­shine feels end­less and you can stoke a proper bar­be­cue. But a Novem­ber night in May­fair? Never.

Yet there I was, prop­ping up the cala­catta rosso mar­ble bar at

Grid­iron, among the first to try this new restau­rant on Park Lane. Its sim­ple name be­lies the sexy space in­side Como Met­ro­pol­i­tan Lon­don.

For many, it will have big boots to fill: it re­places the Met Bar, which opened in 1997 as a mem­bers-only boozer that would morph into the hotspot for pan­jan­drums of Cool Bri­tan­nia, at the height of Brit­pop, where celebs would spill out in the wee hours into a picket fence of pa­parazzi. And what a boon for the ho­tel: book a room and get ac­cess.

Its de­cline has been a slow burn. I was seven years old when it opened so, when a ten­nis su­per­star fa­thered a child in the cup­board or All Saints draped them­selves over low-slung so­fas, I was more con­cerned with Poké­mon cards or get­ting my mother to turn off an All Saints CD. But this isn’t some mil­len­nial dis­missal of an icon. The cliques that made it a hub of the Lon­don scene left. A-lis­ters were more likely to be seen one floor up at

Order­ing thick slices of crispy po­tato galette could be­come a com­pul­sion

MEAT FEASTSteaks are cooked on the epony­mous grid­iron, above; main, the pol­ished brasserie decor; in­set, there are a few non-meat menu op­tions

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