Since chef Inaki Aizpitarte opened Le Chateaubriand in Paris in 2006, the restaurant has made its mark in the culinary world for being a forerunner of the bistronomie concept, mixing fine cuisine with a casual setting. It’s consistently been ranked as one of the world’s best restaurants, currently placed at number 21 on San Pellegrino’s top-50 list. Now, him and his team—an all-star assembly that includes film producer Varun Talreja and Le Chateaubriand’s head chef Paul Boudier—have brought their culinary expertise to London, where they have just opened Le Chabanais in the city’s posh Mayfair district.
Designed by Clément Blanchet, the restaurant takes its name from a legendary absinthe den and brothel from Paris’s Belle Époque, and its 90-seat dining room mixes the look of an old French bar with contemporary English elegance. Marble tables are surrounded by low-back wood chairs, and the floors and walls are covered almost entirely with shimmering brass; it’s billed the world’s first brass-coated restaurant.
Similar to how Boudier looks to markets and farmers for ingredients at Le Chateaubriand, here he’s designed a menu around what he can find locally, which has resulted in dishes such as artichoke barigoule, lobster with cannellini beans and red currents, and cherry sorbet with kalamata olives. To drink, there’s a short wine list as well as a cocktail menu at the bar—its own entity, named One Two Two—with French-inspired drinks such as the Barbaresque, a fruity rum drink with egg white and spices, and the Madame K. of Lillet Blanc infused with red cinchona bark and champagne.
For more information, visit Le Chabanais.