Brummell recommends: Avenue

The St James restaurant bringing a deliciously refined touch of contemporary Manhattan to London

Food and Drink 12 Jul 2021

The background
Originally opened in 1995, Avenue was acquired in 2014 by D&D London and has remained a homage to the New York urban brasserie ever since. Combining a large art-filled restaurant and a spacious and vibrant bar area, it serves deliciously refined Americana-inspired fare from the kitchen of head chef Rudi Warner (formerly of Blueprint Café, Angler, and Dabbous)

The space
Avenue’s bright dining room in the heart of St James’ combines high ceilings, buttery soft booths, and gilt-edged marble tables bringing a taste of the contemporary buzz of Manhattan to London. At its core is a large chandelier made from a cluster of wine glasses; a central focal point offset by walls peppered with striking art works, available to buy thanks to a partnership with Rise Art. Subtly portioned tables offer a safe environment without detracting from its cool and vibrant surrounds.

Head chef Rudi Warner

The menu
Soon after arriving at Avenue, it wasn’t long before Brummell was soaking up the atmosphere with a gin cocktail in one hand and Rudi Warner’s perfectly formed menu in the other. The menu may be small, but we still found it hard to choose; its seafood-heavy offering a welcome conundrum for Brummell. Spotting very modest portions on neighbouring diners’ plates ahead of ordering, we decided to order three courses, starting with a delicate and flavoursome prawn ravioli, shell bisque, fennel, orange, black olive, and the fresh and deliciously crisp marinated Okney scallops, young peas, Cedray lemon confit and black olives. To follow, our steamed fillet of sea bream, artichokes and Cornish mussels was mouth-watering, packed full of flavour and as artfully presented as the paintings adorning the walls. Perfectly satisfied and with room for dessert, we were able to comfortably tuck into a dreamy selection of cheeses with seasonal chutney and crunchy crackers, and a delectable caramelised “eggy bread” with Tahitian vanilla ice cream to finish – and thank goodness we did. All of this was carefully paired with wine by our knowledgeable waiter.

The price
Three-courses for two diners including an aperitif cocktail, and wine, around £150

The verdict
A highly refined selection of delicious dishes in a bright and modern atmosphere, perfect for dinner with friends or a working lunch/dinner.

Avenue, 7-9 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1EE;