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Osteria Dell’Angolo

Tracey MacLeod, The Independent (Rating: Food 4/5 stars, Ambience 2/5 stars, Service 4/5 stars)

How accurate the description of this Westminster newcomer, which is said to have “the kind of bland, complacent atmosphere you get in movies just before Jason Bourne comes bursting in feet-first through the window”. “All the character comes from the food, which is inspired by head chef Michele Brogi’s upbringing in Tuscany’s Valdarnese Valley... [with a menu] full of intriguing dishes, most of which sound a great deal better in Italian than they do in their English translations”.

Bob Bob Ricard

Matthew Norman, The Guardian (Rating: 5/10)

This style of this Soho newcomer makes it “quite a confection”, Mr Norman observes. “This is a very sweet restaurant, styled after a drink-induced Orient Express hallucination (Bob Bob Absinthe), in which the male waiters wear candyfloss-pink jackets so lurid they should get danger money.” The problem is that “if affordable glitz is the noble ambition, there’s a problem: it isn't affordable… If they lopped a third off the prices, BBR would stand a chance, because the food is fine, the service delightful and the room a pleasure to sit in, even if it lacks the bustle to match the grandeur”.


Giles Coren, The Times (Rating: 4.67/10)

Oh dear, we were rather impressed by our early-days visit to Christopher Gilmour’s new Chelsea restaurant… which alarmed us because his restaurants, charming man though he is, are rarely much good. How comforting, then, that on the evidence of Giles’s visit “the meal was terrible”. “[I]f this recession is going to get on with its much-vaunted cull of superfluous restaurants, Gilmour’s is going to [be lucky] to come out of it alive.”

The Albion

Terry Durack, The Independent on Sunday (Rating: 10/20)

A review of a pub where “the menu is full of family favourites, such as potted shrimps, game pie and slow-roast pork hock, as well as bar snacks such as chip butties and pork crackling”. “By rights, it should be nestled in a valley, smoke puffing from chimney, tractor in the car park. Instead, it’s in the backstreets of Islington, albeit with a rear garden for al-fresco dining.”

“The gastropub is the only hope we have for civilised, democratic dining in this country” observes the critic, “taking the substandard pubby stodge we grew up with and reinvigorating it with seasonal produce, fresh ideas and fair prices”. “Tonight, sadly, has been a step backwards rather than forwards. It will matter little to the hordes who just want to sit in the garden and drink beer – but it should.”

Barny’s Place

Zoe Williams, The Telegraph (Rating: 4/10)

“As a taste experience, it was between McDonald’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, but, for my money, way too close to the first and nothing like close enough to the second” – the critic leaves this new City eatery rather less than satisfied.


Jasper Gerard, The Sunday Telegraph (Rating: 4/5)

Visiting the Hart brothers’ relaunched Fitzrovia tapas bar, the critic remarks that it “doesn't look like a tapas bar”. He find it offers “decent value for the quality”, and notes that it’s “packed” too.

Royal Well Tavern, Cheltenham

Jay Rayner, The Observer

“[T]he fact that I looked at the £12.50 fixed-price menu at the Royal Well Tavern and quickly realised that I liked the look of everything on it had to be encouraging”, says the critic. “None of the food will exactly startle”, he concedes, but it generally “delivers on all the essentials”.

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