Last week I went for dinner at Cafe Monico, the cosy all-day brasserie on Shaftesbury Avenue from the Soho House team.
Serving traditional French and Italian dishes from pasta to seafood and grilled meats, there are excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner options and good value formule set menus, seven days a week. When we arrived we sat down at the central bar for an aperitif, ordering our favourite cocktails - a French 75 for me and a negroni for him - created by one of the smart barmen in dinner dress.
We went upstairs and sat at our table by the window, overlooking the busy street, theatre crowds and London buses below. We were served a basket of crusty bread with warm butter with the menus and ordered half a dozen Fine de Claire oysters and cured salmon with cucumber and dill as starters, along with a bottle of the Whispering Angel cotes de provence rosé. It may have been a cold, drizzly night outside, but we could at least pretend it was a balmy summer evening...
For our mains, we ordered the flavoursome rabbit ragu tagliatelle - which managed to dance the fine line between rich and not too rich perfectly - and the rare rib eye steak with chunky chips and a green salad as a side. The dishes are all familiar brasserie classics, it's dimly-lit and atmospheric, and there's a charming old school vibe which makes you want to stay for hours - I'll be heading back again soon and you should too.
See more restaurant reviews & London features