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Focus on-trade: Rounding up

Published:  18 January, 2007


77 St James's Street, SW1A 1PH

Marco Pierre White is back in town. The restaurant king and original celebrity chef has launched a new Italian restaurant - named after his eldest son - in the West End. The menu is part English and part Italian, which must keep the waiters as busy with translations as they are with serving. Highlights include carpaccio of Aberdeen Angus (9.50) to start, moving on to grilled Dover sole with burro al Barolo (25) or roast rump of lamb with thyme, pomodori ripieni and cicoria (15.50). As you might imagine, the wine list is heavy on Italy.


51 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA

Travel to the east and you'll find this new addition to the Mexican bar/restaurant scene.

It comes from the same team as the nearby Redchurch Bar and Caf, and the menu is a mixture of authentic sharing' dishes, smaller tapas-style plates and more conventional main courses. But the real pull is three bars with a substantial range of limited-edition 100%-agave Tequilas, intended to stamp on the British tendency towards the cheap and nasty stuff that's driven the Tequila market in this country to date.


5 Minories, EC3N 1BJ

The trend for naming restaurants after herbs seems to be showing no signs of abating, if this new Italian-style eatery is anything to go by. There are two floors to choose from, with a bar dominated by cocktails and Proseccos and a menu featuring main courses such as grilled monkfish wrapped in speck with chickpeas.


29-33 Heddon Street, W1

The menu at this restaurant is concise and reasonably appealing - even if it's not particularly original. But its very existence is fairly incidental, considering the presence of the adjoining Absolut Ice Bar. This is the UK's first ever permanent ice bar, where everything - including the walls, bar, glasses, bar stools and artwork - are made of imported Nordic ice. Drinking sessions are restricted to 45 minutes, and a cape is handed out to all customers in an effort to offset any potential cases of frostbite. The entrance fee is 12, which includes a vodka cocktail.


21 Alma Road, Wandsworth SW18 1AA

This is the newest venture from Geronimo Inns, and the theme is on the good old country kitchen. It's very much a place for a hearty plate of meat and three veg - the menu' is a blackboard giving daily specials of three fish and three meat options. The range of beers is multinational, with the Russian Baltika lager on tap, alongside Steinlager from New Zealand. The wine list has been compiled by John Clevely MW.


50 Dover Street, Mayfair, W1S 4NY

It would seem that Lebanese restaurants are all the rage - perhaps because the mezze dishes are a perfect fit with the current graze craze. The bar and dining area in Isis is a delightful den of cosy couches and attentive waiters, and there's a good selection of hot and cold mezze, ranging from stuffed vine leaves (5) to grilled halloumi cheese (4.50). There's also plenty of main-course options - but only if you like chicken or lamb. The cocktail list is varied and original, and the wine list - which includes a couple of Lebanese tipples - is fine.


China Tang, The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1A 2HJ

Addendum, 1 Seething Lane, EC3N 4AX

Christopher's in the City,

18 Creechurch Lane, EC3A

Butterfly High, 34 Dover Street, W1


The results of the third Champagne Taittinger wine-

list awards have just been announced, and the overall winner is The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern Wells in Worcester (from the Hotels & Spas category). Judges comments included: A well-produced list that continues to surprise at the turn of every page with its wide selection of wines from around the world (including a dry white Hua Dong from Shandong in China and a Catamayor from San Jose in Uruguay).' The winner in the Country Houses, Small Hotels and Inns category is Knockomie Hotel, Forres, Morayshire; and the prize in the Recommended Venues (Dedicated) category went to Warren House, Kingston-upon-Thames.

The World Food Media Awards have come and gone, and Carluccio's is going from strength to strength. Antonio Carluccio, proprietor, was inducted into the Tasting Australia Hall of Fame at the biannual event in Adelaide. He joins previously honoured culinary heavyweights such as Ferran Adria of the acclaimed El Bulli restaurant in Spain. Other UK winners at the World Food Media Awards include Andrew Jefford for Best Drinks Journalist, Michael Jackson for Best Drink Guide Book (Whisky) and Joanne Harris and Fran Warde for Best Soft Cover Recipe Book (The French Kitchen).

Albannach is launching its Aqua Vitae Club on 21 November, in association with a mix of distillers from the highlands, lowlands and isles of Scotland. There will be a monthly event to showcase rare vintage casks, unique blends and special editions. Annual membership costs 35, or 10 for trade.

Careerscope: Pubs & Bars is the latest magazine from Springboard, promising to give the low-down on how to get into the industry and how to succeed once you're there'.