Within the roster of London eating places, supremacy is commonly ephemeral. It’s uncommon for a selected institution to endure in reputation for months, not to mention many years. Le Caprice, nevertheless, is a grande dame of the restaurant scene. Its historical past is as illustrious as its clientele. Princess Diana pronounced it her favorite restaurant, and it has been frequented by numerous celebrities, spanning the total gamut from Liz Taylor to Mick Jagger by way of the champion imbiber Princess Margaret.
The restaurant was opened in 1947 by Mario Gallati, previously maire d’ of the Ivy. Its velvet-lined partitions welcomed the celebs from Hollywood’s golden age, however by the mid-1970s it had misplaced its figurative and literal lustre; the candelabras weren’t value lighting and it was left to rot. Corbin and King, who would later turn out to be the royalty of restauranteurs, resuscitated the place in 1981, and Le Caprice turned their first large hit. Richard Caring took over the helm in 2005, Caprice being his favorite spot to dine, and the restaurant is the flagship of his eponymous restaurant assortment.
Isle of Mull scallops with chilli and garlic butter
Underpinning the restaurant’s success, which spans throughout 4 many years, is a posh components that so many restauranteurs would give their eye enamel to recreate. The atmosphere is incomparable. At its essence, Le Caprice is a neighborhood restaurant; it simply so occurs that it’s positioned in Mayfair, and its next-door neighbour is the Ritz. It’s a really well-heeled neighbourhood restaurant for many who take into account this upscale finish of city their stomping floor.Its discreet exterior belies its glitzy credentials. Even inside, the restaurant is low-lit and effuses easy, understated glamour: an 80s tackle artwork deco, with glimmering mirrored wall.
After I visited with my husband, one unseasonably moist and windy August afternoon, the place was packed, with a lot who regarded like regulars. One, armed with pink wine, attracts Jose Torres, who has spent 28 years as Common Supervisor, and later, Maitre d’ of 18 years, Paul Stabbins, into the rattan bistro chairs for a chat. They’re courtesy incarnate. The room reverberates with environment.
With this in thoughts, meals isn’t essentially the primary level right here. It’s, however, glorious. The menu is expansive; encompassing all the pieces from macaroni cheese to miso salmon. A lot of the fare is unchallenging, however Le Caprice performs to its strengths, and does so admirably. My husband, who’s vegetarian, chooses two dishes from the impressively intensive vegan and vegetarian menu: the butternut squash soup adopted by the cauliflower curry. Each have been executed to perfection. I opted for 2 fish dishes, beginning with the scallops, which have been introduced delightfully of their shells, adopted by the sensational sea bass. Our puddings have been elegant. I loved the frozen Scandinavian berries, accompanied by a bit of jug of molten white chocolate sauce, which Paul poured with practised panache. My husband picked the last word consolation meals crowd pleaser: heat chocolate cookie with milk ice cream. The dish was served attractively in a bit of forged iron skillet.
Coming right here is subtly ostentatious; there’s no pomp and circumstance. Go to Horny Fish on the opposite aspect of Piccadilly and also you inform the world you will have diamonds in your Rolex and presumably additionally in your Vary Rover. Le Caprice is extra for many who don’t thoughts if the cabbie doesn’t discover their classic Patek Philippe. Its profitable components is an amalgam of retro pizzazz with a shot of latest aptitude. If you need a wonderful meal in a restaurant dripping with sophistication, there isn’t any classier selection.
20 Arlington Road SW1A 1RJ
020 7269 6629
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