When you have a show to catch, booking yourself in for a pre-theatre meal is the perfect way to start your evening. There are so many Theatreland restaurants to choose from, but a handful stand out as the cream of the crop. Here are three that will inspire a standing ovation.
You might have otherwise overlooked Jar Kitchen, with its unassuming shopfront in the famous Drury Lane. But don’t be fooled because this newcomer is turning heads for its imaginative menu and cosy home-from-home vibe. Hospitable staff show you to your wooden table where wild florals sit in glass jars. You order the courgette flowers with goat’s cheese, honey, and walnuts for starters and your theatre buddy chooses the sea bass ceviche. Both dishes look fantastic and you tuck in enthusiastically. You clink your glasses of bubbly together as your mains arrive. The delightful presentation of samphire and artichokes make this an unforgettable meal. You’ve still got time for mini doughnuts and Tonka Bean ice cream for dessert before your show at the Theatre Royal begins. Ahead of the bright lights and razzmatazz of the West End stage, dining at Jar Kitchen is a gorgeously au naturel way to start your night.
Smith & Wollensky
You know your rump from your sirloin and appreciate restaurants that have slick interiors and style. So the shiny new Smith & Wollensky in the Grade II listed Adelphi Building offers the perfect pre-theatre decadence. The glamorous, Art Deco-inspired interiors and buttery green leathers appeal to you and your partner’s classic tastes. As does the location—you’re steps away from the Adelphi Theatre and the musicals at The Savoy. There are three dishes to choose from within each course, and they all sound amazing, but tonight you want to try the Flat Iron Steak you’ve heard so much about. You both agree it’s the most tender you’ve tasted. Before you get your West End jazz hands ready, it’s time for something sweet. Their rich milk chocolate mousse and summer berry fruit tart go down a treat.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
You and your theatre-going guest have discerning tastes, so the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon by the bright lights of Leicester Square is ideal. You’ve heard the innovative cuisine of Chef Xavier Boyer is on the radar of every London foodie and is among the best of the Theatreland Restaurants. Their three-course pre-theatre offerings with matching wines allow you to dine like a king, but with the assurance you won’t miss a minute of your favourite musical’s opening night. You adore that the cuisine here has classic French quality, yet is infused with worldly influences to match your cosmopolitan tastes. You sit down and the open kitchen, with its wood-fired oven, is like the chefs’ culinary stage. The aroma of the smoked bacon and broad beans, on which your crispy poached egg sits, reaches your senses before it even reaches your table. Your guest’s crabmeat, or Le Tourteau, with fresh herbs and avocado purée is equally aromatic. Both plates have Joël Robuchon’s signature contemporary style. It’s almost too artistic to eat. You take the time to sip on a refreshing glass of white. You can because the pre-theatre service here is as well timed as an actor’s dress rehearsal. As the pan-seared scallops and free-range quail arrive, you decide the incredible pea purée and Asian flavours from the wasabi emulsion are their forte. The desserts get you both smiling, especially Le Chocolate Tendance with Manjari chocolate mousse, dark chocolate sorbet, and chocolate cookies. There’s nothing wrong with something sweet before the curtain call!