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Over the weekend I read a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the restaurant industry in San Francisco. The article focused specifically on staffing issues in the Bay Area, due to the fact that most restaurant workers have now been priced out of the city thanks to the growth of Silicon Valley – which has made San Francisco one of the most expensive cities to live in the US.

However, rather than operators shying away from the city, there has been a monumental shift towards “fine-casual” dining. Restaurants that would never be described as fast-casual, in terms of food and décor, are now incorporating a counter-service type model for ordering, requiring fewer servers to run a lunch or dinner service. It will be interesting to see if this catches on in other US cities, as well as places like London.

Have a good week.


Beautiful Allotment

Everybody enjoys eating and drinking surrounded by greenery in summertime, so the opening of Beautiful Allotment in the gardens of the Geffrye Museum is well timed. The new site, from the people behind Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, will open on 25 July and will feature all manner of botanical details in the décor and in the cocktails. And in addition to food and drinks, there will be events in the green space on Kingsland Road too.

Carte Blanche

Mare Street gets another interesting dining space later this month when Carte Blanche opens. The name reflects owner Andy Taylor’s style – marrying French flavours with American comfort food. Taylor was a founder of Le Bun, and the new 50-cover restaurant will feature dishes such as foie gras and escargot tostadas and hot chicken buns with caviar. The stripped-back space will also serve cocktails such as a French negroni made with Dubonnet too.


Interesting news for the site that was formerly Bumpkin on the corner of Ledbury Road in Notting Hill. Emily Roux is to take it over and open Caractère with her (Italian) husband Diego Ferrari, who is currently head chef at Le Gavroche – so the menu is expected to be reflective of both Italy and France. There is no opening date yet, but with their pedigree and the other restaurants in the area, it’s good news indeed.

Casa do Frango

Portuguese seasoning on fire-grilled chicken? Sounds tempting. Casa do Frango is bringing the frango style of cooking to London Bridge this month with the big claim of being proper piri piri, at London’s first Algarvian restaurant. The space will have an airy feel with vaulted ceiling and communal seating. There will be plenty of Portuguese wines on offer too.

Too Many Critics

CODE’s founder will be one of the team cooking in aid of charity at this year’s Too Many Critics event on 8 July – which sees food writers and commentators in the kitchen at Temper City. There will be 140 diners at the fundraiser for Action Against Hunger at which there will also be auctions and prizes on offer too. Tickets can be bought here.


The small but elegantly formed Blue Posts pub in Soho will start serving lunch from this Wednesday and as you’d expect from the Paskin operation, the dishes sound good – such as fritto misto brioche roll and cheeseburger au cheval... The revamped Helix and Iris restaurants in the Gherkin open on 13 July, operated by Searcy’s... Also in the city, at Moorgate, from today there will be express Japanese lunches and takeaways on offer at new restaurant Kitsune no yomeiri.

Charlotte Wilde

Charlotte Wilde, the co-founder of Sager + Wilde, has announced that she is opening her own wine bar this autumn. Darling, on Kingsland High Street, will also have food and an events space, which is bound to be popular in that area rich with creatives. Wilde will select the wine list herself and she has appointed Dan Wilson from Dandy to oversee the food, which will comprise a modern European menu and bar snacks.

Merlin Labron-Johnson

The Conduit is the name both of the building and a restaurant in it, which will be run by Merlin Labron-Johnson (who is continuing his work with Portland and Clipstone) on Conduit Street, opening in the autumn. Its ethos is sustainability and will focus on reducing food waste too. Labron-Johnson has been spending time at the Refettorio Felix project which addresses both food waste and hunger. The Conduit itself is a programme to address seven core themes the world is facing.


Last week CODE reported that Rich Woods and Matt Whiley had joined Adam Handling to work on his bar operations. We made the error of stating that in addition to their new roles, Woods and Whiley had left their previous positions, which is entirely wrong and we would like to apologise and confirm that Woods is still overseeing beverage development for the Sushisamba group. Whiley is still at the helm of The Talented Mr Fox bar consultancy and the Scout bar company.


Executive Chef, Le Mary Celeste

Le Mary Celeste in Paris is a bustling 60-seat restaurant, craft cocktail and natural wine bar. Our guests are locals and tourists who are excited about sharing an exceptional evening of food and drink with us.

We are seeking a creative, independent and hard-working Head Chef to lead a small team in creating an ever-changing menu of both small and large share dishes.

(French language skills not required!)

Click here to read more and apply


Waiter / Waitress, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Corinthia Hotel London is proud to announce that the renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will open his first London restaurant, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, at the hotel this September 2018.

As a Waiter / Waitress you will provide a warm welcome with friendly, professional service while offering a wide range of seasonal food and drink to guests. You will join a dedicated team who are responsible for creating memorable dining experiences.

Click here to read more and apply


Sous Chef, Lantana Cafe

Lantana is a pioneer of the Australian style café in London. Since opening in 2008 we have grown to 3 central London restaurants and published a cookbook in 2014 with another due out September 2018.

Our menu is inspired by Australia’s melting pot of culinary cultures and we pride ourselves on making everything in house with the best produce. We are looking for a dynamic Sous Chef for our flagship Fitzrovia café/restaurant.

Click here to read more and apply

Marketing Executive, Mondrian London

Mondrian London has an exciting opportunity for a Marketing Executive to join the ranks! We’re looking for someone dynamic and driven to join our small, high-performance team.

We’re somewhere between creative agency and in-house team and need someone in the know and wired into London’s cultural landscape. Upcoming chefs, journalists, designers, DJs – they'll be on your radar!

Click here to read more and apply


Keith Miller reviews St Leonards, Shoreditch

Grace Dent reviews Neptune, Bloomsbury

Grilling turns back to an ancient fuel: wood

What would actually fair restaurant awards look like?

Mon 2 July

Tues 3 July

Thur 5 July

Sat 7 July

Sun 8 July

Ennismore has a swanky new London HQ. The owners of the Hoxton hotels and Gleneagles have relocated to Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell. The stunning space was used last year for the Burberry exhibition.

To Hutong last Tuesday evening for their fifth anniversary dinner celebrations. The Chinese restaurant in the Shard, that is part of the Aqua group, is to open an outpost in New York later in the year in the former Le Cirque space in Midtown Manhattan.

The Dumbwaiter hears that there’s quite a lot of exciting news to soon be announced from MARC restaurant group, run by Marlon Abela. The Greenhouse is understood to have secured a new high-profile chef. Watch this space.

From Shoreditch to the Shard. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.


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