Dandy Fox: Bars, restaurants and wines coming to London this May

Speakeasies, Vinoteca, Hix and Hirst. Your guide to the tastiest openings this month

J Sheekey’s Speakeasies - Hardeep Singh Kohli

J Sheekey’s Speakeasies are back! This year the comedian and TV personality, Hardeep Singh Kohli, is hosting the live shows

Just opened and about to open

  • Vinoteca Soho – 14 May 2012
  • Hix Tramshed – 24 May 2012
  • Italians Do It better – Until 30 June 2012
  • J Sheekey’s Speakeasies – ongoing
  • The Cube – from 1 June 2012
  • The Lion at The Brompton Club – until early July

The Dandy Fox is Emyr Thomas, the founder of Bon Vivant, a lifestyle management and concierge service with an emphasis on providing great personal service

After the whirlwind start to the year – with new openings sprouting up almost every day in our fair city – April was a much quieter month. This provided a much-needed break from encountering untested ground and to instead focus on revisiting old favourites.

However, the lull was a brief one. The frenzy has now returned, with the best bits highlighted below.

Vinoteca comes to Soho and revamps at Farringdon and Marylebone

Vinoteca opened its original wine shop and restaurant in Farringdon in 2005, adding a Marylebone site in 2010 and now a new Soho site on Beak Street from 14 May.

It is inspired by the wine bars of Spain and Italy, offering modern British and European seasonal food alongside a wine shop selling nearly 300 wines, which you can also enjoy at each restaurant. With new chefs announced at the Farringdon and Marylebone sites, I make that 100 wines at each restaurant to try. You better get cracking.  

An expanding empire for Hix

There seems to be no stopping Mark Hix at the moment – with his latest venture due to open on 24 May at the Tramshed building in Shoreditch.

The 150-seat restaurant will focus on steak and chicken, with the option of either a whole chicken or a 200g sirloin steak as a main course, with a changing selection of starters.

As with other Hix restaurants, there will be commissioned artwork from Damien Hirst featuring a cow and a cockerel taking centre stage.

Do Italians do it better? Let’s See

The ‘Pret a Diner’ dining concept returns to London until 30 June with the latest concept, ‘Italians Do It Better’, involving a series of dinners from acclaimed chef Giorgio Locatelli.

The event takes place at the 50 St James’s Street (the stunning former private member club and casino) before it closes for a full revamp. There will be cocktails from maestro mixologist Tony Conigliaro of 69 Colebrooke Row, and an exhibition of contemporary Italian artists curated by the Gazelli Art House.

J Sheekey’s Speakeasies

J Sheekey Oyster Bar has announced its new season of performances for Sheekey’s Speakeasies, a monthly cabaret performance combining dinner with live music and comedy performances.

For this season, there will be four Speakeasy shows each month, with two shows on every other Sunday: a late lunch performance at 2pm and an evening show at 7pm. Tickets cost £35 and include a set menu of J Sheekey favourites and a Ketel One cocktail on arrival.

If the preview evening was a good indication, you’ll be in for an all-singing, comedy treat, with no jazz hands in sight. A full schedule is available here: http://www.jsheekeyoysterbar.co.uk/sheekey-speakeasies/.

A Michelin-Starred Cube

The Cube by Electrolux will open on 1 June and will run until 30 September 2012. Positioned on top of the Royal Festival Hall, it offers incredible views of London with great food to match.

Michelin starred chefs including Sat Bains, Claude Bosi and Tom Kitchin, will present a unique menu using locally sourced ingredients. Serving a minimum of five courses, dishes will be accompanied by matching wines and “unique sound and light concepts”.

The Cube will seat 18 around one table, allowing guests to watch the meal being prepared in an open plan kitchen. Tickets are priced at £175 per person for lunch and £215 for dinner. To book a table or find out more, click http://www.electrolux.co.uk/Cube/London

The lion roars into London

John DeLucie from the celebrated New York restaurant, The Lion, will be popping-up at The Brompton Club from now until early July, giving Londoners a chance to try his acclaimed cooking.

DeLucie is one of the original chefs from the Waverly Inn in New York. This is an excellent chance to try one of New York’s finest chefs in an exclusive private members’ club in South Kensington that is opening its doors to the public for a limited time only.

With signature dishes of mac and cheese with truffles (macaroni cheese) and the Lion burger special blend (pork belly, Provolone, smoked Cheddar, caramelised onion and tomato), this is one pop-up to get your claws into.

Emyr Thomas is the founder of Bon Vivant, a lifestyle management and concierge service with an emphasis on providing great personal service. They specialise in every travel, leisure and lifestyle need that you don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to do yourself so you can maximise your free time. Based in London with global coverage. 

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