4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
Latest critic review: May 21, 2013
Ok breakfast but nothing to write home about
We went for a special occasion and couldn't have been happier - I think all the critic reviews saying the food is sub-standard must have been written in the early days, and perhaps this galvanized them into improving things as we thought the food was great. Service was a joy, from the barman making the cocktails to all the waiters and the maitre d'. There was a mishap just after our starter - a plumbing incident leading to flooding in the area we were sitting in, could have happened anywhere - and it was handled so swiftly and charmingly that it just added to the pleasure of the evening. We can't wait to go back.
I must congratulate Mr.McNally on a job well done. I was visiting from NYC recently and managed to snag a resv. for 3 & 8pm on a recent friday evening.The place was rammed & buzzing with a huge wait list & massive bar crowd. The buzz was electric upon entering. It was an odd feeling to be in Covent Garden one second then be transported to the Soho section of NYC the next. The place looks almost identical to the original. I am not a fan of chains nor recreating establishment. But I must say Mr.McNally is a genius & nailed this. The food was good but not great & one should not expect that at his establishments.You visit for the overall experience. A combination of good solid food,atmosphere,buzz,energy, people watching & perhaps celeb sightings. On this night Balthazar delivered ten fold. Our food was solid. Lobster & Black truffle Risotto, Escargot,Lamb,Cote De Bouef,Chocolate Souffle, Creme Brulee,Copious wine & cocktails. The room had a huge buzz since it's new & it felt like the old buzz at the NYC Balthazar years ago where anything could happen at any minute.
Tim Burton & his wife Helene Bonham Carter were in the crowd as well as Stanley Tucci. Mr. McNally & his well oiled machine of a staff worked the room efficiently. Our waiter was a pleasure & well informed. I can't say enough good things about my 1st experience here & will gladly return. Can't wait for the impending brunch service.
Great dinner, fantastic atmosphere!
This place offers outstanding brasserie classics such "steak au poivre" that you could get in the best Parisian brasserie paired with unbelievable international dishes; we have tried the "lobster and black truffle risotto"...extraordinary (and we are Italian)!
The setting is EXACTLY the same as in NYC, actually it feels like walking in the same place...and we loved that too!
Well done to Keith McNally!