Lutyens, opened in 2009 by Terence Conran and Peter Prescott, is a City restaurant for all occasions. It consists of the restaurant proper, wine bar with bistro menu, cocktail bar, outdoor terrace, members’ club and numerous private rooms for meetings and discreet splurges.
Service is formal and tactful. Most of your fellow diners will be of the pinstriped type, and it’s safe to say a great proportion of the spending is done on expenses.
But there’s still plenty here for everyone else: first, the site itself, in the former Reuters building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, is a corker. The façade displays that invincible Fleet Street pomp; inside, Conran has remodelled the space, adding a muted colour scheme with signature flourishes such as statement lighting and an open kitchen.
The cold part of that sends out a lot of seafood – oysters, smoked salmon, ceviche – while the chefs manning the ovens and grills concentrate on French-slanted dishes of impeccable execution. Salmon tartare with perfect cubes of cucumber, say, or a simple plateful of cod with mussels and spring vegetables – both from the good-value prix fixe (sides at £4 and drinks will bump things up, of course). A reliably flawless experience.