The newly renovated Rib Room Bar & Restaurant at Cadogan Place’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel is frankly one of the best reopenings of 2011.
The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant dining room
Redesigned by Martin Brudnizki, who has also worked on Scott’s and for the Soho House group, the style of this culinary institution is now far more sophisticated in its look and boasts a superb marble topped bar and two private dining rooms. A previously plain looking setting has been transformed through an injection of brightness and colour. A cigar terrace is also due to open to the front of the restaurant shortly.
Drawings and paintings by Feliks Topolski (1907 – 1989), whose works are also on show in Buckingham Palace and at The Tate Collection, of the likes of The Marquess of Bath, President Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill complete the decoration. Topolski himself celebrated his 70th birthday at The Rib Room in 1977 and their continued presence is symbolic of the heritage of a restaurant celebrating its 50th year in business.
The new Rib Room team includes head chef Ian Rudge, who formerly worked at Northcote Manor and the Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa. The team also includes an ever charming general manager, Michele Caggianese, and a most knowledge sommelier, Louise Gordon, as well as many familiar and welcome faces from the old Rib Room.
The seasonal menu showcases classics such as the restaurant’s signature Duke of Buccleuch Estate Aberdeen Angus rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding (£40) and a starter of Rib Room prawn cocktail, served with Marie Rose sauce and gem lettuce (£13) as well as grills of Aubrey dry aged sirloin (£29), rib eye (£26) and fillet (£38) with slow cooked plum tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms and steak frites. On the fish front, the à la carte offering includes Dover sole with Morecambe Bay shrimps and hazelnut meuniere (£40) and a fillet of Loch Duart salmon with slow cooked duck egg yolk and roast garlic sauce (£28).
The weekday set lunch menu offers two courses for £19 and three for £25 and is great value for money. With a daily changing lunch trolley, it was a pleasure to taste the roast leg of Cornish lamb studded with garlic and rosemary, braised celery, potato purée, parsley and mint after a starter of glazed Norfolk pigs cheek, braised bacon, baby Brussels and cider sauce. A selection of five cheeses from Alsop and Walker, a fine Sussex cheese maker, nicely completed the meal and the French truffle honey that accompanied it is especially worth trying. The Sunday set lunch comes priced at £55 and includes the aforementioned Aberdeen Angus roast beef.
In a revolutionary move and following in the “green” theme of the new Rib Room, the wine list is presented on an iPad. This clever application includes the ability to filter the selection by year, price, producer, grape, region and style as well as links to the back story of any particular wine. With a wine list starting at £28 for Cuma, Michel Torino, Torrontes from the Cafayete Valley in Argentina, the offering rises through an extremely fine offering of about 400 wines.
The marble topped Rib Room Bar & Restaurant bar
The Rib Room’s bar itself is now much more of a destination in itself. Replacing a previously somewhat second thought of a bar, is a superb marble topped bar that takes centre stage. Here the British theme continues with a menu of premium British gins and bespoke bitters that includes Bloom, Martin Miller’s and Sipsmith. The gin and lavender experience was especially excellent.
Winston Churchill most definitely would have been mightily satisfied at The Rib Room as this is a restaurant that offers nothing but the very best of British.
The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, London, SW1X 9PY. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7858 7250. Website:
Follow The Rib Room on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/RibRoomSW1
Follow The Rib Room’s manager, Michele Caggianese, on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/caggianesemiki