Nestled in the heart of lovely Marylebone is The Cavendish, a gastropub with a lively bar downstairs (and pretty terrace) and a restaurant on the first floor. Fresh flowers, pretty tea lights and cool filament bulbs are in abundance, along with luxurious velvet chairs and leather banquettes to rest one’s weary self after a hard day’s shopping on Bond Street.
The Cavendish has been here for two years, and to celebrate, executive chef Douglas Santi, known as “The Daddy of Italian Cooking” has come up with an impressive new menu including a must-try 100 layer lasagne. We did indeed try this, not wanting to get on the wrong side of Daddy! We started, though, with cocktails, as it’s not every day you turn two. We tried The Gentleman, a bourbon-based drink served in a long glass, and The Katrina, an Aperol and Champagne refresher, named after the regular who invented it. Something else to add to the bucket-list; having a cocktail named after oneself.
For starters we were served tuna in three ways – seared, carpaccio and smoked, and beef carpaccio served with crispy shavings of horseradish. Both were mouth-wateringly good. The lasagne, served horizontally on the plate so it didn’t topple over, was delicious and unusual not just in its stature (I tried to count the layers but in the end ate it faster than I could count), but also because the tomato sauce was served on the side, allowing the flavours of the mince to really shine through. Our other main, the short-rib beef, we learned from our friendly and knowledgeable waiter, is cooked for two days at 45 degrees. It was served rare and was so tender and delicious it necessitated the closing of eyes to fully enjoy the experience. Truffle chips, perfectly cooked to crispness, complemented the meal perfectly. We washed this down with wines from the very good and varied wine list (a welcome touch to have a decent choice by the glass). Our desserts literally were the icing on the cake; a chocolate éclair that you could see from space, and a fabulous toffee and pecan praline cheesecake so good it should be winning awards. The Cavendish serves food all day long including brunch and Sunday roasts which will mean another visit is firmly on the agenda. 35 New Cavendish Street, W1 (020 7487 3030)