Toptable prompted me to look back and think about all the money I’ve been spending in restaurants during 2011. Crumbs. Well, at least a lot of it was great. Honourable mentions go to lunches, evening meals and general grazing at the Ledbury, José, Brawn, Pollen Street Social, Pitt Cue Co, St John Bread and Wine, Medlar, Pied a Terre, Pizarro, Polpetto, Polpo, Mishkin’s and da Polpo.
But, good as those were, the five places that sneaked it into a top 5 are:
1. Dinner, by Heston. Remarkable that this has been open for less than a year – it felt established from about day two. The food is not fiddly, faffy, or (‘Meat Fruit’ aside) the Fat Duck. Which is fine by me. As well as the food, I enjoyed the slick, accomplished service and the understated but clearly expensive decor and furnishings. Go in the evening, not for lunch. Read the full review here.
2. Morito. I think I’ve been here more than any other restaurant this year. Great little Moorish dishes, great ambience, great value, and great sherry. What’s not to love? Read the full review here.
3. The Young Turks. Quality, inventive, contemporary food. Stylish service. Effortlessly atmospheric. The latest YT venture is definitely open through January and, if we’re lucky, for a little while after that too. Go. Read the full review here.
4. Roganic. This new, young, high end restaurant embodies modern ‘fine dining’. Which means intriguing textures and tastes, impressive and imaginative presentation, and serious skill … without the white table cloths and stuffy service. More please. Read the full review here.
5. Spuntino. This is my favourite of the 5 establishments that (currently) make up the Polpo empire. You’ve probably read that it’s a ‘Brooklyn style bourbon diner’. I just think it’s really freaking cool. Read the full review here.
Read what other bloggers reckoned were their top spots by clicking through to the Toptable feature.