This is the 'cheaper', ground floor, option for those wishing to visit Sketch, which is Pierre Gagnaire's ground-breaking London enterprise (see 'Sketch Lecture Room and Gallery' (q.v.) for the full-blown option). All things are relative, the domed ceiling setting is impressive, and prices still expensive unless you have deep pockets! The food, however, is excellent - and extrovert in the extreme.
Expect to find the likes of 'Tempura-Battered Prawns with Foie Gras Croquettes, Dried Vegetables and "Sketchup" Sauce'; 'Cauliflower Velouté - cauliflower, crab jelly, Serrano Hm, radish & bonito'; 'Puglia 2 - burrata mozzarella, spinach velouté with parmesan, tomato & basil, green pepper sorbet & fresh nuts' plus perhaps their twist 'Croque Monsieur' (but with the bread dyed black with squid ink).
Some dishes are offered as starters or mains - such as 'Organic Salmon with a Fruit Escabèche and Japanese Noodles'. But tradition isn't forgotten with dishes such as 'Roasted Bresse Chicken with Thyme and Lemon' (although even this comes with Macaroni Cheese made with Gorgonzola) or 'Dover Sole with Mushroom Mash and Green Peppers with Indian Spices'.
Desserts are equally unusual - maybe including 'Coffee Parfait, in a Mexican-style, with a candied Morel and Tequila Syrup'; or come in a cocktail glass and consist of three items separated by daylight!
The extremes of décor, such as the riot of screens, is added to if you visit the lavatory - where an attendant will seal you into a large white egg.
- Food Style: Modern French
- Lunch: Closed
- Dinner: Mon-Sat 19.00-23.00; main courses about £16 to £39
- Seats: 140
- Wine: Wines are described in a user-friendly 'style' manner and kick off from the mid £20's
- Children's portions: No
- Wheelchair access: with difficulty
- Nearest station: Oxford Circus Underground
- Directions: See the map on this page
- Parking: street parking with difficulty, possibly Cavendish Square
- Closed: L each day; all Sun, most Bank Holidays
- Air conditioned