Marie Claire's Maria Bancroft heads to Marylebone for cocktails, octopus carpaccio and melt-in-the-mouth rib-eye steak...
Words by Maria Bancroft
In the heart of London’s fashionable Marylebone sits a beautiful, traditional pub turned modern brasserie called The Cavendish. This area has no shortage of quality restaurants, but The Cavendish is one to go out of your way for. Walking into the bar you’re confronted with the perfect setting for relaxed after-work drinks with all the cosy booths and banquettes.
We arrived early so decided to have a glass of wine and a catch-up on the day before sitting down to eat. We ordered a couple of glasses of the Malbec, and both agreed it was one of the best we’ve had and, believe me, we’ve tried a few! The staff are welcoming and friendly and looked after us well. When we were ready, they took us to the dinning room upstairs, which has a grand, opulent feel, with dark walls, table lamps and velvet-covered chairs. Tables are far apart, so the whole atmosphere is intimate.
We ordered our food and a cocktail each – be warned the cocktails pack a punch but are made to perfection. The menus are clearly not an afterthought here, and the newly appointed head chef Douglas Santi has created a modern, eclectic, European menu with inspiration from French, Italian and Middle Eastern dishes. Steaks and seafood dishes like ceviche and tarter and oysters are prominent on the menu, and there is also the famous ‘100 Layers Lasagne’ which gets great reviews. If you don’t want to indulge too much there are plenty of healthy options that incorporate nutrient-rich super foods.
To start we enjoyed tuna, avocado and chilli and chargrilled octopus carpaccio. Both dishes were delicious. For mains we decided to treat ourselves to the rib-eye for two with a selection of sides. The meat was excellent and cooked perfectly – a serious melt-in-the-mouth moment, which is no surprise as The Cavendish meat is sourced from renowned butchers Aubrey Allen, who also supplies meat to Her Majesty the Queen. Meat is prepared in the specially imported Josper oven, giving it a wonderful smoky flavour. The food is presented beautifully and the chef clearly takes pride in his work. We were close to bursting, but bravely carried on to order from the dessert menu, rounding the meal off with butter toffee and pecan praline cheesecake and lime and coconut mess. What a treat!
The Cavendish offers a great place for an intimate dinner, cocktails in the bar or an espresso on the heated terrace. It sells itself as an alternative to exclusive London bars, offering instead a neighbourhood brasserie with fantastic food and drink at its heart. It really lives up to this and we will certainly go back.
35 New Cavendish Street
T: 020 7487 3030