Tom Parker Bowles Restaurant Critic on new pub , The Devonshire

Tom Parker Bowles Restaurant Critic on new pub and grillhouse, The Devonshire

Tom savours The Devonshire: a new pub and grillhouse in Central London that’s perfectly old-fashioned.

Well, it’s a dream team at The Devonshire, no doubt about that. Ashley Palmer-Watts, former head chef of the Fat Duck, behind the stoves – or, in this case, beside the vast open grill. Oisín Rogers – last seen at the Guinea Grill and one of London’s great landlords – takes his place by the beer pumps. While Charlie Carroll, founder of Flat Iron (14 branches, with the quality and value still as fine as ever), completes this hospitality supergroup.

Iberico pork chop, grilled over wood embers

Situated in an old Jamie’s Italian, just behind Piccadilly, the downstairs pub is all floral carpets, hidden snugs and £2 sausages on a stick. A proper, old-fashioned boozer, the place for a swift pint or a serious session, with some of the best Guinness you’ll find in the land. Upstairs in the Grill Room things get a touch more formal – menus are handwritten and tables wear both linen and paper. Meat (all butchered in the basement) plays a starring role: lamb, beef, Iberico pork (from the Ledbury’s Brett Graham), either grilled over those coals or slow- cooked in puddings and stews.

The pub area, where Guinness is a popular piz

‘It is an old-fashioned City chop house brought to the West End,’ says my friend Matthew, his eyes agleam with greedy glee. Scallops, vast, pert and pearlescent, arrive grilled in their shell. The sauce, spiked with a dash of barrel-aged malt vinegar, has a sly acidity, and takes the dish from good to great. A pile of langoustines in garlic butter still carries that delicately fleeting whisper of the sea. Carapaces are picked, claws crunched, our faces slathered with delight.

Langoustines for starters

Iberico ribs offer two bites of tight-textured, sweetly piggy joy, while both rib-eye steak and lamb chops are hewn from superior beasts, lovingly charred, satisfyingly chewy and cooked just the right side of rare. By contrast, beef-cheek and Guinness-suet pudding is a symphony of savoury, soft, exalted nursery food, and far too good to share.

Beef-cheek and Guinness suet pudding

This may be chop-house grub, but with Palmer-Watts at the helm, dishes have an extra level of finesse. There’s a subtle art to everything here, and a quiet attention to every detail that makes the service such a joy. It’s the pub and grillhouse that you never knew you dreamed of. Go for a pint, stay for a sausage, linger for the steak and chips.

About £45 per head. The Devonshire, 17 Denman Street, London W1;

Source: Read Full Article