New ownership since late 2012 has given this Theatreland old-timer a shot in the arm. Not much has changed in terms of decor; the slightly scuffed basement room still has the same happy mix of show posters and photos on bare brick walls, and a pianist still tinkles away in the evenings. The biggest change is in the much-improved kitchen, which is now producing decent-to-good versions of American brasserie standards. You’ll find big salads (including a punchy but balanced bowlful of avocado, pecan, bacon and blue cheese dressing), fish dishes (yellowfin tuna with avocado and coriander salsa was a good piece of fish exactly grilled, though the salsa contained little coriander), egg dishes, chilli con carne and steaks (a small sirloin steak was cooked as requested, and came with plentiful golden fries). Old favourites – the black bean soup, for example – remain. A membrillo-like strawberry jelly with roasted peanut ice-cream was, like the rest of the dishes we tried, good without being memorable. As for drinks, all bases are covered by a choice of reasonably priced cocktails, a range of US beers, a global wine list and properly made coffee. The other major difference is in the service: it’s now efficient and comes with a smile.
|Venue name:||Joe Allen|
13 Exeter Street
|Opening hours:||Brunch served 11am-4pm Sat, Sun. Meals served noon-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-12.45am Fri; 11am-12.45am Sat; 11am-11.30pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden tube|
|Price:||Main courses £10.95-£25.95. Set meal (noon- midnight Mon, noon-7pm Tue-Sat, 10am-11.30pm Sun) £16.50 2 courses, £19.50 3 courses incl glass of wine|
|Do you own this business?|