Diary: Let's do lunch

PJ's Bar and Grill Reviewed by Marc Cranfield-Adams, freelance PR consultant

PJ's is the quintessential theatreland eaterie, located only a stone's throw away from Covent Garden market.

In its 22nd year, it also commands customer loyalty. Many return, giving the place an atmosphere that is not too different from that of the Cheers bar. The atmosphere is relaxed, the staff friendly and familiar.

PJ's gets very lively at lunchtime, and even more so in the evening when a pianist plays. But the bar area near the entrance often gets crowded with those just in for a drink, which means a discreet meal at the adjacent tables is difficult. The decor is a little faded and the wooden chairs can become uncomfortable after a while.

There are two lunchtime menus: brunch or a la carte. Both are very reasonably priced and offer an ample choice, although the wine list is limited, which is why I drink the house champagne.

The Cornish crab cake starter, served with a red pepper coulis and rocket salad, is delicious. The chef's special - Veal Escalope stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and Parma ham - is ideal for Atkins dieters, with broccoli as a substitute for potatoes.

If you can manage to fit in a dessert, PJ's flourless chocolate cake melts on the tongue.

Look out for brass plaques sporting the names of the rich and famous who have also eaten at PJ's.

Where: Wellington Street, London WC2

Contact: 020 7240 7529

How much: About £20 a head

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