- What is it good for?
Avenue has always been handy for those who work in Westminster or the Piccadilly side of the West End, either for lunch or pre-event dinner. But it has just been refurbished, with a new kitchen and head chef (Mikko Kataja). The menu is also new, specialising in modern British cooking.
- Signature dishes?
Kataja's menu is sourced from independent producers and changes on a regular basis, according to availability. Dishes tend to be simple - steaks, lobster, burgers, poached brill - relying on natural flavour rather than sauces.
- Who's the boss?
Kataja worked for Tristan Welch during the relaunch of Launceston Place. The maitre d' when I visited was the very helpful Alain Collas.
- Tips please?
Try to get a table on the raised level for more privacy and space. The Scottish scallops at £14 were fabulous.
- What's the damage?
Ask about special deals before you visit. Main courses span the £14-£20 range.
Avenue Restaurant and Bar, 7-9 St James's Street, London SW1A 1EE. 020 7321 2111.