RestaurantsLondonSt James'sSW1

survey result

Summary

£53
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

This “slick and professional” modern brasserie in the heart of St James’s from D&D London is “very popular at lunchtime with business people” – in particular for the “glass-fronted private room which allows for confidential conversation without being stuffy”. “The location is easy to get to”, and the food “caters for all tastes”.

Summary

£53
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

This “slick and professional” modern brasserie in the heart of St James’s from D&D London is “very popular at lunchtime with business people” – in particular for the “glass-fronted private room which allows for confidential conversation without being stuffy”. “The location is easy to get to”, and the food “caters for all tastes”.

Summary

£71
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

This “stylish” if “cavernous” modern brasserie – nowadays part of D&D London – trades largely on its Manhattan-esque looks and St James’s address, and wins its highest praise from expense-accounters. For folks spending their own cash, the food’s not distinguished but not bad, but service can be awful, and management’s attempts to pep up the big interior (“blaring muzak”, “singer wasn’t enough to lift the ambience”) don’t always go down well.

Summary

£68
  £££
2
Average
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

A “lovely, light room”, “excellent value set menus” and “impeccable service” all help make D&D London’s “vast” Manhattan-style brasserie a useful choice, especially for business diners, aided by its “prestigious” St James’s location. The food? – “reliable without ever hitting the heights”.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Avenue?

Restaurant details

Yes
20
No dress code
120

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Always £25.00 £30.00
SundayLunch £28.00 £32.00
Brunch £28.00 £32.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£13.50 £26.50 £6.00 £8.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £26.00
Filter Coffee £3.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Avenue

A relaunch of a spacious St James's business-restaurant of long standing, where the cuisine has now taken on a decidedly American twist; on our lunchtime visit, however, the whole experience seemed surprisingly devoid of character, in spite of the best efforts of the charming staff.


We were rather excited to go back to the Avenue, the large and airy St James's restaurant whose history nicely encapsulates the history of the business over the past two decades. (You can read all about that here.) A D&D Group property in recent years, it has relaunched with a new explicitly American vibe, and an English chef (whom we recently interviewed here) with some impressive US experience.


They've spent a lot of money on adding accents and interest to this big white chamber, which itself seemed so remarkable in those far-off days when the restaurant made its début. The interior is now somewhat softened, but if you sit in the wrong place - as we did - it can still feel a bit of a barn. Fortunately service, which is friendly and on-the-ball, adds a lot of warmth to the experience.


The food, though, left us mystified. The Avenue may never have been on anyone's top culinary highs list, but it's generally been pretty competent over the years, which is part of the reason this has long been a default business lunch rendezvous in this pricey part of town.


On our last visit here, a few years ago, we'd enjoyed the lunchtime fish and chips, so we thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast (not least as that humble dish is, in our view, a restaurant test par excellence). Mistake: the cod (itself nicely cooked) was entombed rather than battered, and the chips that came with it were almost totally without any real character. Ditto the very creamy celeriac soup (with sauerkraut) before and the brownie afterwards.


Indeed, this lack of character turned out to be the almost invariable signature of a meal where everything read better than it tasted, not just for us, but for our guest too. Even his steak and eggs, he said, were not cooked as he'd ordered. Just problems settling in? Given the past standards here, and the chef's very decent background, let's hope!


See the Review
7-9 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑9:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑3:30 pm, 6:15 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑5 pm

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