5/03/2012 01:11:00 PM

News: Quaglino's Gets a New Chef, New Brasserie Blanc Launches

It was a 1990s behmoth but in recent years, word (and last year's surveyors) has it that Quaglino's has got a bit "tired." So let's hope that new head chef Jean-Philippe Patruno can breathe new life into the old dog. Patruno grew up in the South of France with a Spanish mother and Italian father, so is pefectly placed to kick the Modern European menu into shape, and has a professional pedigree to match. He was head chef at Quo Vadis, working with renowned restaurateurs Sam and Eddie Hart, and helped them launch Fino. Bonne chance! Buena suerte! In bocca al lupo!

In launch news, May 16 sees the debut of a new Brasserie Blanc on the Opera Terrace of London's Covent Garden. The 100-cover restaurant will feature the usual à la carte menu as well as a prix fixe "Dine with Wine" menu (two courses with a glass of red or white wine) available from noon-7 PM. But, perhaps in a hat-tip to its swish surrounds, there will also be Bar Blanc, a stand-alone cocktail bar with its own entrance from the Jubilee Market and what they're claiming is London’s largest selection of absinthe, served traditionally, slowly dripped over sugar cubes. For private drink functions, an intimate cocktail bar called ‘Little B’ will also be available for exclusive hire for up to 20 people. And that's not all...both the bar and restaurant will have outside space and, on the ground floor, you'll also find a crêperie offering sweet and savoury options to eat at cafe tables on the piazza or to take away. Blanc is certainly thinking big, and the plans don't stop there. 2012 looks set to be a vintage year for the group as they are set to open a staggering 11 new sites nationwide (six in London alone) to join the existing nine branches.


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