International Restaurants in City
1. Bowling Bird International restaurant in City 44 Cloth Fair - EC1A
“Ranks with the best beef I’ve ever had in London” is typical of the high praise earned by this smart two-year-old. “Mind you, it is right next to Smithfield” – a fact reflected in its straight-to-the-point menu – “and the maître d’ knows just the right wine to wash it down with”. It occupies an architectural gem of a townhouse once home to Sir John Betjeman.
2. The Wine Library International restaurant in City 43 Trinity Sq - EC3
This ancient cellar near Tower Hill has a “brilliant selection of wines at retail prices”, accompanied by charcuterie and cheeses – “basically drinks-party food, but none the worse for that”. With its “highly knowledgeable staff”, it’s a great place for oenophiles to while away an hour or two (if not in huge comfort, given the not-particularly-comfortable seating).
3. Vivat Bacchus International restaurant in City 47 Farringdon St - EC4
“There’s no better place to try South African wine – from cheap ’n’ cheerful to exceptional vintages” – than at this duo of SA-owned City wine bars, with walk-in cellars for your deliberation. The Saffa-inspired food is “fairly hearty” (steaks are a good bet), with a shout-out to the “brilliant cheese room” in each venue.
4. Cecconi's, The Ned International restaurant in City 27 Poultry - EC2R
“There’s always such a buzz at any time” at the original Cecconi’s, “tucked away behind the Royal Academy” – a “bustling” and “sophisticated” all-day Italian brasserie, whose “open, bright, pavement terrace” helps make it a big favourite amongst the St James’s set, be it “for an upmarket business breakfast”, or as “a treat during a day’s shopping in the West End”. When it comes to the cooking, it “can be a bit hit or miss, but is generally good”. Nowadays owned by Soho House, the brand is being rolled out, but its diverse family of spin-offs echo rather than replicate the original. There’s a City outlet in The Ned’s capacious food hall, which like Mayfair is “fun” and “an excellent place to do business” of a less formal kind. Beyond that, the food is “reliable” but pretty “basic at the price”, and the setting can be “the noisiest ever”. A Soho pizza spot carries the name, on which there’s little feedback. New in September 2018, the Shoreditch branch is “a very good addition as a real neighbourhood restaurant”, with a “nice bar”, and a generally “winning formula”, including for brunch.
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