Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Dean Street Townhouse - W1

Once I used to be the sort of person that would seek out a new club, a new bar, travel the country camping out in muddy fields to hear the latest band, the biggest DJ.  Ah youth - where did you go?  These days it's all about food and coffee - with the same enthusiasm that I used to investigate some dank alley-way behind London Bridge Station, searching for a doorway and chemical adventures, now I get super excited about some new Antipodean coffee place, or somewhere that does amazing creme brulee.  And you know what - that's fine by me.  As much as I like to think I am young at heart, I really don't think the skinny-jeans brigade needs some 40+ bloke pulling shapes on the dance-floor.  Anyway - I digress.  Dean Street Townhouse is kinda hot right now.  Opened by the uber-succesful Nick Jones as the latest in his Soho House empire, it's a small boutique hotel and dining room in (funnily enough) Dean St Soho.  Great idea and as usual, perfectly executed.  Given I booked late I could only get seating at the bar for lunch yesterday, which turned out to be perfect.  I love eating at the bar - it feels very New Yorky and given the decor at DST, that impression was amplified.  The clubby, red leather banquettes, dark wood, white tablecloth vibe is straight out of Manhattan, although the menu is pure Brit.  I had read A.A.Gill's review in the Times on the weekend and it seems that a certain type of English person who eats here is amazed to find mince and potatoes on the menu and then pleasantly surprised at this classy update to their nursery food staple.  That particular meal wasn't an integral part of my Aussie childhood (what would be the equivalent I wonder - toast and vegemite?) so I skipped that and opted for the pork t-bone with champ and buttered carrots.  Oh how I love champ - like colcannon it is a comforting mix of mash potato and green vegetables.  In champ's case the green veggie is spring onion.  Add a shitload of butter, some milk and salt and pepper and you have comfort food extrordinaire.  The pork chop made me come over all Homer Simpson - SO tasty - and the carrots were impeccable.  My dining companion headed straight for the salt beef (she is a New Yorker) and declared that DST's version, accompanied by caraway dumplings and pickle, was delicious.  I didn't have dessert this time but they looked tempting - think cobbler, steamed pudding and trifle and you get the idea.  Some people scoff at poshed up nursery food - I love it and I loved the Dean Street Townhouse.  Given the fact it was the night after the BAFTAs and that anything related to Soho House is going to be heavily media patronised, it was no surprise that half way through lunch Lee Daniels, Director of Precious plonked down next to us at the bar, BAFTA award in tow.  I really wanted to ask if he'd been out all night or whether he was carrying it around as an "acess all areas" pass.  I did congratulate him on the award (even though it was actually for Mo'nique for Best Supporitng Actress).  DST is that sort of place - comfort food plus BAFTA award winers, all in a clubby, TriBeCa kinda vibe.  What's not to like?

Dean Street Townhouse on Urbanspoon

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