It’s time to go back to a Covent Garden favourite. Christopher’s is one of London’s original American restaurants, paving the way for many. It opened in 1991 and very quickly became a firm favourite just down from the Covent Garden piazza. Having closed for renovation, it reopened this May so of course I couldn’t resist the chance to visit.
The building opened in 1870 as London’s first licensed casino. I’d forgotten how stunning it is. The worn, original stone spiral staircase made me think of how many people had tramped up and down before me. And when I walked in I was dazzled by how fabulous the light-filled room is and as for the view! A classic London landscape through the huge windows across Waterloo Bridge that makes me happy and proud to be a Londoner.
And then there’s the menu, let’s just say there’s plenty to choose from.
I loved my cucumber starter with perfectly thinly sliced cucumber carpaccio-style and the softest, sweetest of burrata. Simple, summery starters don’t get better than this.
Fresh asparagus was simply grilled, lightly dressed and served with pecorino. Classic and perfectly executed.
I rarely order chicken in restaurants, I cook with it a lot and after all chicken is chicken. Isn’t it? This amazing dish of lemon and herb rubbed chicken with French beans, chorizo and wild mushroom hash proved me totally wrong. I loved the richness and depth of the flavours and the tender, juicy chicken.
I love it when a dish comes out and it’s not at all what you were expecting (in a good way). Three little rounds of perfectly seared tuna topped with dollops of different sauces, including minted horseradish cream and Creole mustardi. Totally yum. Tuna dish of the year so far?
There’s a pre- and post-theatre menu that’s great value at £16 for two courses or £22 for three. Or you could head for the downstairs bar and tuck into something off the comprehensive all-day bar menu with, among other things, a mouth-watering range of classic American sandwiches like the Reuben and Philly steak.
Or how about weekend brunch? More classics like corn beef hash and eggs benedict as well as lighter options, detox juices and, wonderfully, a Bloody Mary bar where you can build your own BM! That idea gets 10 out of 10 from me. Welcome back Christopher’s! We’ve missed you.
Christophers is at 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden.