D&D London – the former Conran Restaurants group – seem to be doing the rounds in sprucing up its restaurant empire. First Avenue, then Quaglino’s and now Almeida.
The Islington restaurant will re-open on 30 September with a brand new ‘pared back’ look, seasonal menu and 80-bin wine wall. Almeida’s ‘sunken’ dining room will remain, alongside its private dining room to the side of the open kitchen, although it will now boast ‘earthy, raw materials and a neutral, balanced colour palette’.
Chef Tommy Boland has created a menu of light, modern dishes including: octopus ballontine with sea vegetables, lemon dressing, taramasalata and crispy squid; roast grouse with celeriac puree, smoked bacon, savoy cabbage, elderberries and barley, and millefeuille of banana, salted caramel, peanuts and honey jelly. A tasting menu will also be introduced, offering five courses for £45 per person.
According to D&D, in order to be ‘in keeping with the décor and food concept’, the restaurant is, removing its physical wine list. Instead Almeida will showcase its wines visually. Staff will recommend different wines based on guests’ budget, taste preferences and food order.
Apparently D&D will be one of the first restaurant groups in the UK to ’embrace’ this new way of ordering wine – and this after Avenue became the first UK restaurant to use the Coravin wine access system (a process of extracting wine without uncorking the bottle).
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