I was intrigued to see how the Corbin/King combo who brought us the Caprice and Ivy and now Wolseley and Fischers would fares in their latest venture – a hotel (the Beaumont). The short answer seems to be very well.
The hotel has at first sight an unusual location in that rather anonymous area between Grosvenor Square South and Bond St. Walking from Duke Street I passed Peabody Estate flats till I arrived at an imposing white building. You proceed through an American clubby type of bar and then arrive at the grill. I arrived a few minutes before my host to assess the ambience. I was shown to a large semi-circular banquette at the rear of the restaurant. I enjoy a banquette for its space, comfort and discretion. For me there is nothing worse than the micro space of a table for two in an Italian restaurant when your neighbour as he leaves virtually is in your linguine. So far so good.
I had reviewed the menu online had more or less decided my order. However my host advocated the shrimp cocktail and veal chop and I followed him. I was slightly disappointed but shrimp cocktail which was 6 prawns hanging outside a glass full of ice with a salsa sauce. It was ok but really a prawn dip and not quite what I expected. However this was made up by the mains: the most succulent meaty veal chop I have ever tasted. A veal chop can be spare and lean but not here. It was complimented by mashed potato described on the menu as whipped potato to maintain the American feel. My friend, who being a successful adman, was something of a wine expert chose a Montagny premier cru which was totally divine.
There are two reasons behind the Corbin/King success story: attention to detail and personal attendance. Having decided on old style New York grill room, every detail from the photos of the US Yankees baseball team to the leathery chairs was perfect. Rest assured they would have spent time in visiting like for like grill rooms in Boston, New York and Washington until they have achieved and replicated the right atmosphere. Secondly, Jeremy Corbin was patrolling the rooms has he does at breakfast at the Wolseley. Always elegantly turned out he looked quite dishy!!!
I did not take nor see the bill but with starters at £12-15 and mains from £20-38 it could be £150 for two which would be on the expensive side but it’s a Mayfair locale with commensurate prices. I loved it.