9 Conduit Street, LONDON, W1S 2XG
The brasserie option at the super-cool Sketch (where art meets culinary pizzazz) is like no other brasserie. Witty, playful cartoons (courtesy of celebrated Brit artist David Shrigley) fill the walls alongside a touch of designer India Mahdavi. It's a striking open space, with a dusty pink hue, low-slung funky barrel chairs and banquettes and clever lighting. The crockery is designed by Shringley too, so expect a few additional wry messages on the white ceramics to greet last mouthfuls. As always, service remains a highlight, with charming, informed staff positively brimming with enthusiasm like it was the opening night. To match the glossy, happening vibe, beautiful people and art, über-chef Pierre Gagnaire's food doesn't hold back on creativity either, with vibrancy, sheer skill and a sense of fun evident throughout. The man's a 'flavoursmith'; take an opener that teams crabmeat, tête de veau and squid with jellied cucumber, a golden creamy brandade gougère and green apple, all beautifully crafted, executed and presented. Likewise, a tranche of salt-marsh Yorkshire lamb comes with a balanced oregano-scented zing and a touch of the Med with its accompaniment of black olive aubergine caviar and baby padrón peppers plus mange tout, matched by a knockout jus. Show-stopping desserts are an absolute must here; witness a light, almost fly-away bitter almond pannacotta, teamed with salted caramel parfait, poached pears and blue milk foam, while the wine list (and sommelier advice) prove a corker too. It's not cheap, but the menu does contain a few options that won't make a financial advisor blush.
Tel: 020 7659 4500
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Dates closed: Xmas, New Year, BHs
Days closed for lunch: all week
Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Pierre Gagnaire, Herve Deville
Number of seats: 150
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £20.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.