As yet unnamed, the new venue will provide informal all-day dining, including breakfast and afternoon tea. Vongerichten said it would “reflect my signature farm-to-table cooking style but with a few surprises”.
Born and trained in Alsace, Vongerichten made his name in New York with a modernised take on classical French cuisine using Thai influences.
His London ventures have met with mixed success. His restaurant Vong enjoyed a seven-year run at the Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge until 2002 (in the basement space, which is currently the soon-to-close Hoffmann’s). It was by no means the smash-hit one might have expected, and put in an up-and-down performance up to when it closed. A later venture, Spice Market, at the W Hotel on Leicester Square also closed after a couple of years’ trading.
Vongerichten’s flagship establishment, Jean-Georges, opened at Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel and Tower in 1997. He has nine more outlets in New York, another nine across the US, and 13 around the world from Mexico via the Caribbean, Paris and Dubai to China and Japan.
The new venue at the Connaught will take over the space overlooking Mount Street currently occupied by Espelette, at the opposite end of the hotel from the restaurant run by Paris-based Hélène Darroze — giving the Connaught what it describes as “an unbeatable double act in the heart of Mayfair”.