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Andy Lynes

Petrus by Marcus Wareing is now open

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I wandered past The Berkeley last night to have a look at what I was sure would be the building site that would become the re-located Petrus restaurant. Imagine my surprise then to find that the restaurant had in fact served it's very first lunch that day.

The room looks stunning, preserving the deep burgundy theme from its original St James Street location. Tables are nicely spaced with deep plum leather chairs. An absolute army of waiters where receiving their evening instructions as Marcus Wareing swore into his mobile phone in the small lounge area.

Launch menus are £26 for lunch (3 choices at each stage, with grouse on offer for a £6.00 supplement) £55.00 for dinner (around 9 choices per course, a caviar starter attracting a £20.00 supp.). I dont have a copy but it all sounded very edible.

It looks every inch the 3 star restraurant, lets just hope the food lives up to the surroundings.

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We've had reservations for Oct 3rd for about 2 weeks now - can't wait....!


www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Be very interested to hear what you think. If I was Gordon Ramsay, or even Mark Askew for that matter, I think I would be green with envy for the set up Marcus Wareing now has at the Berkeley. The room is much nicer than RHR in my opinion and there is a great deal more space.

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Yes, agreed on the envy point, especially considering the general blah-ness of Boxwood, the food was fine, but nothing earth shattering - decor was allright also - can't wait to see Petrus...

Will report back -


www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Andy,

however lets not forget that the Berkeley space never did work for Koffmann, how much do you think he would give to never have moved from RHR?

As I have often said I think Wareing is a great, great chef, but I worry about this move. Tante Claire never got that space right, and oh how they tried...

Mind you, we shall all be very keen to see how things go.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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lets not forget that the Berkeley space never did work for Koffmann, how much do you think he would give to never have moved from RHR?

I don't really know the ins and outs of it, but wasn't it more that the relationship between Koffman and the hotel never worked, rather than the space? Maybe he wasn't really up for a bigger restaurant at that point in his career or just didn't want the hassle of dealing with the hotel management.

Wareing is still proving himself, still trying to win his second and third stars, whilst Koffman had done all that by the time he made the move. I have no doubt that Ramsay is more than match for the men in suits who run the Savoy group and that Wareing will be allowed to get on and run the place as he wishes.

This is all pure speculation and I have no inside track on any of it but my bet is that the reviews will be sensational, Wareing will get his second star in January and Petrus by Marcus Wareing will not only become a London institution to rival RHR, but also a perfum and a diffusion range of designer clothing. Or something.

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I don't really know the ins and outs of it, but wasn't it more that the relationship between Koffman and the hotel never worked, rather than the space? Maybe he wasn't really up for a bigger restaurant at that point in his career or just didn't want the hassle of dealing with the hotel management.

How many covers did Petrus had before?

I think part of the problem with Tante Claire was it went from c40 covers to c80 and there were difficulties, at least initially, maintaining the quality with double the volume

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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Petrus at St james Street had 50 covers, whilst the new restaurant has 60 in the main dining room, private dining for 12 and a chefs table for 8. So given that the private dining and chefs table may not always be at full capacity for every service, and may well be dining from a set menu when they are, it shouldn't be too much of a jump up in terms of scale for Wareing.

And if his kitchen brigade is even half the size of the front of house team, he should be able to do it standing on his head. Or even standing in the kitchen of the Savoy Grill, which he may well be from time to time.

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Andy,

I agree it is all speculation. It is a travesty that wareing doesn't already have 2 stars, and much like JBR, Koffmann etc. the hotel management desperately want the third star. usually the hotel management will agree to fund the kitchen, exactly as the chef requires, as part of the wooing. This kitchen will be off limits to all kitchen staff not part of the main game, i.e. breakfast, etc will not be prepared in the big boys kitchen.

The berkeley space is just very sterile, as I think anyone who eate there with any semblance of regularity will testify to. The room dividers always made me like I was in a school room, separated by panels from one class to another. Now we all know that proximity to foyers etc. is not necessarily a bad thing and can work in a hotel without much fuss (i still mourn the oak room!), the berkeley space is a tough gig.

Maybe Gordo & co. can make it work.

Koffmann left for his dream kitchen, pursuit of a 3rd star, and because he could keep all the sale proceeds of RHR without having to fund a new restaurant and refurbishments. All pretty good reasons to me, except it didn't work...

Also, the food about 6 - 9 months out from the demise of Tante claire was as good any in London at that point; regrettably it's not always about the food as you correctly point out.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I'm hoping the PR company will send through a few pictures of the interior. Its had a complete makeover. The seperate entrance has now gone, you enter through the hotel lobby into a bar area then through a glass door int the restaurant. the lounge are within the restaurant is open to the dining room as far as I recall. The only divided off bit now is the sort of cubby hole at the back of the room which I image will be the private dining area.

I thought the room had a real wow factor and I can't wait to try it out, but I was only in there for 5 minutes or so, very different from spending a couple of hours on a regular basis eating there.

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Here is the launch a la carte menu :

Starters

Lobster ‘Arnold Bennett’, a lightly smoked haddock omelette with Scottish lobster, fish velouté and hollandaise glaze

Foie gras served on a Sauternes jellied plate

with macerated figs in a spice wine and quince purée

Pressed terrine of veal head, marinated vine tomatoes,

baby gherkin and pickled onion salad with fried capers

Golden Osciétra caviar,

Cornish white crab and brown shrimps

in lobster bisque, crème fraiche, calzone toast

Crispy chargrilled veal sweetbreads,

braised marrow with garlic and thyme,

velouté infused with Amaretto and almonds

Ardennes frogs’ legs scented with cumin and lemon confit,

served with white onion and garlic soup, grilled focaccia

Scottish sautéed scallops with Charlotte potato

and leek salad, carrot purée, baby artichokes, truffle cream

Carpaccio of duck liver ‘à la minute’,

girolles and mango salad with a bitter sweet vinaigrette

and brioche

Main Course

Slow baked sea bass with shallots braised in red wine and port, sautéed green beans, parsnip purée, sauce Matelote

Grilled John Dory fillet,

roasted pumpkin, caper and golden raisin purée,

braised leeks, beurre noisette sauce

Braised turbot with Welsh rarebit glaze,

smoked cod roe with aubergine caviar

and sautéed baby gem lettuce, light turkey jus

Sliced spicy monkfish tail and sautéed langoustines,

calamari and grilled aubergine, sea urchin sauce

Best-end of Welsh lamb, braised lamb shank faggots,

honey glazed parsnips, roasted peach and shallots

with braising jus (for two)

Caramelised Wiltshire pork belly

with port and mixed spices,

Lyonnaise potatoes, grilled baby leeks, sage cream

Braised hare served with creamed savoy cabbage,

glazed red onions, and a rich Madeira wine sauce

Veal fillet with potato rösti,

root vegetable fondant, glazed butternut squash,

mustard grain velouté

Dessert

Peanut parfait with rice crisp crunch, Valrhona chocolate mousse,

candied peanuts and chocolate sauce

Pineapple pannacotta

with fromage fraîs mousse,

sugared almond crust and a

pink grapefruit and Champagne sorbet

Pears poached in aged, red wine vinegar, port and honey, sesame seed tuile with mascarpone and crème fraîche, pistachio ice cream

Iced black cherry and yoghurt parfait,

coconut cream and ginger caramel crust,

baked meringue and cherry sauce

Pressed layers of mango, strawberry and kiwi, exotic fruit jelly, lime sorbet

and a black grape jus

Caramelised banana pancakes,

dark rum butter sauce,

golden raisins and coconut soufflé

Valrhona chocolate fondant with a melting butterscotch sauce,

iced Devonshire clotted cream

A selection of cheeses from the trolley with a

bread basket and water biscuits

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Should have some photo's early next week. Interior design is by David Collins BTW who I imagine would have found ripping out his La Tante Claire interior a bit of a wrench.

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Interior design is by David Collins BTW who I imagine would have found ripping out his La Tante Claire interior a bit of a wrench.

I'm sure he did :biggrin:

I believe it is against the law to open a new restaurant without a david collins interior, and in teamster fashion, if you don't want him to do it - you pay him to sit while someone else does it!!!

either that or i'm jealous of his client list


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I was surprised they got him in to do it, as Barbara Barry has done the Savoy and the Boxwood.

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Here is the launch a la carte menu :

That seems to be a huge menu for such a small restaurant. I would be concerned about his ability both to make a profit and to maintain fresh food stocks !!!!

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It all that florid menu speak and the spaces in between the items that make it look longer than it actually is :biggrin: Its only 8 choices per course, the same as he's always done.

I wouldn't doubt for even a second Wareing's kitchen management skills and the ability of Ramsay to ensure that a tidy profit is made.

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Koffmann left for his dream kitchen, pursuit of a 3rd star, and because he could keep all the sale proceeds of RHR without having to fund a new restaurant and refurbishments.  All pretty good reasons to me, except it didn't work...

Kofmann certainly didn't leave to go in pursuit of a 3rd star - He had 3 stars and lost one when he moved (a travesty in my opinion).

That space definitely has the feel of a 3 star about it but I wonder if Wareing can do it justice, in my opinion his cooking at the old site seemed to have lost its edge, I wonder if this was due to the disappointment of not receiving the second star that everybody thought should be his? When Ramsay was at Aubergine his cooking was always one star (sometimes 2) ahead of his Michelin rating and it was pretty obvious that he was going to get the 3rd star. With Wareing I'm not sure whether he will ever quite make it, I hope he does, its about time the UK had another restaurant deserving of 3 stars. :hmmm:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Kofmann certainly didn't leave to go in pursuit of a 3rd star - He had 3 stars and lost one when he moved (a travesty in my opinion).

I could be wrong but I thought Koffman retained three stars when he moved and was relegated to two later.

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He moved to The Berkeley in September 1998, and then got a 2 star rating in the 1999 Michelin guide. There's a Caterer news article about it here.

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Not a sniff I'm afraid. I'll see if I can come up with something next week. He was meant to be opening around about now. Its not unusual for dates to slip I suppose, but it has been ominously quiet.

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Kofmann certainly didn't leave to go in pursuit of a 3rd star - He had 3 stars and lost one when he moved (a travesty in my opinion).


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Interesting menu - fairly brave on the starters, I bet there are quite a few people who wouldn't fancy any of them (The mains sound a bit more crowd pleasing).


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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fairly brave on the starters, I bet there are quite a few people who wouldn't fancy any of them

i don't get that at all. i'm not a St john man - can't get my mind round quails' heads and fried tripe - but how can anyone who likes food not go for lobster, caviar, scallops or foie gras???????????????

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But what about Pressed terrine of veal head, Crispy chargrilled veal sweetbreads, Ardennes frogs’ legs scented with cumin and lemon confit or Carpaccio of duck liver ‘à la minute’? I thought it was an unusual opening menu, it will be interesting to see how long some of those dishes survive.

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