The Betterment at The Biltmore
Time Out says
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Jason Atherton’s all-day brasserie, in a luxe Grosvenor Square hotel.
Super chef Jason Atherton has, to date, put his name to 18 restaurants across the world, with The Betterment – a brasserie-style affair housed within The Biltmore Mayfair – his ninth London venue. First, a warning: the hotel, perched on a corner of Grosvenor Square, has all the atmosphere of a wake. But make your way through its cavernous greige corridors and you’ll find a compact, swish dining room, opening on to a living-wall-lined alfresco terrace. Although waitstaff are dressed to the nines, their patter is more Soho bar than Mayfair fine dining, which we loved. Special mention goes to our sommelier (one of seven), who boiled the Magna Carta of wine lists down to an excellent red, a £40 bottle of Pittnauer Velvet.
The menu consists of a set of surprisingly well-portioned dishes, all with seasonal leanings and friendly prices for the area. There were shots of pure brilliance, like the umami-heavy beef wellington, plus a side of snipped snow peas, iceberg lettuce and blue cheese: the ideal marriage of crunch, zing and honk. A bitter chocolate tart was dynamite. Inky, rich ganache in fine, nutty pastry, it came with Tahitian vanilla ice cream like none other.
But there were flat notes, too. Like steak tartare topped with globs of tasteless mousse, the meat too dense for scooping up with the beef dripping croutons. Or a john dory fillet, which though exquisitely presented atop coco de paimpol beans (a type of haricot), was a fusion of underwhelming flavours. As for the deconstructed dessert of caramel popcorn ice cream with passion fruit and lacquered popcorn, it tasted as if a fruit bowl and cinema pick ’n’ mix bag had engaged in a brawl, with neither coming out swinging.
A few of the dishes I’d have for my death row dinner, but for a man so critically acclaimed, I expected a little better(ment) from Atherton.
39-44 Grosvenor Square
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £200.|
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