Avenue, a Manhattan-inspired restaurant, has recently opened in the heart of London’s city centre, situated on St Jame’s Street.
Avenue’s menu is influenced by elements of regional American food, which have then been refined with contemporary cooking techniques and quality ingredients.
The venue’s design has been based on New York art galleries of the 1990s and aims to exude the airy feel of a glamorous Manhattan loft space. The floors are covered in contemporary screen printed timber-look tiles, whilst the walls are decorated in white and ash grey. American architect, Rick Mather, took the lead on the venue’s design and having been established since 1973 Rick Mather Architects has a vast portfolio of high profile clients and a back catalogue of impressive projects.
Others involved in making Avenue an amazing venue included PSE Associates, who acted as the main contractor on the project with Colin Rhodes at their fore. The architects were Russell Sage Studio, and the Mechanical & Electrical Consultant was KM Technical.
The restaurant holds space for 112 covers and diners are sure to be impressed by the delicious dishes on offer. The menu has been inspired by head chef Michael Blizzard, who previously worked at Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental London, The Dirty Habit in Hollingbourne, Kent, and three Michelin-starred Restaurant Daniel in New York City.
Feature dishes include fried soft shell crab with avocado, arugula and chipotle mayo; clam chowder served in sour dough with littleneck clams and paper bag ‘crumbled’ bay crackers; and macaroni with chopped lobster and sauce. The team also serve up a selection of mouth watering burgers including The Avenue Black Angus Hamburger and The Boston but. Desserts include donut holes with cinnamon sugar, Hershey melt and bourbon custard; key lime sundae and New York cheesecake with rhubarb and ginger.
Avenue boasts a number of key features which add another element of grandeur to the restaurant, alongside the impressive menu. The venue contains floor lighting, a grand chandelier constructed by Simon Day of Nocturne Lighting from wine glasses and a unique waiter’s station. Guests are faced by the venues bar as they enter and have a range of bar seating to choose from, including high at-bar-dining stools, as well as a variety of lower leather banquettes. The decanting bar, which was designed and created by3 Interiors, comprises an ebonised timber base, a Lunastone top, back-lit white-glass disc and a perspex wine bottle carousel.
Guests deciding to relax at the bar will be well looked after by sommelier Andres Ituarte, who previously operated at Lutyens restaurant. Wine is a focal point of Avenue and the venue offer an excellent range of USA and French classics. The list encompasses over 200 different wines and includes Sine Qua Non, a quirky Californian wine; Cayuse Bionic Frog, a cult Washington State Syrah; and Diamond Creek, an ‘old-school’ Californian Cabernet. Additionally, Avenue is utilising the new-to-the-UK Coravin wine system which enables diners to taste a variety of prestige wines by the glass or ‘pail’ at their table, at Avenue’s sleek Long Bar or at the restaurant’s spectacular decanting station.
In addition, the bar serves a regularly changing list of classic cocktails, inspired by the US prohibition era, with a modern house spin. The venue also serves on-trend, in-house barrel-aged bourbons and whisky blends, as well as displaying several rare prohibition-era bourbons in spirit decanters.
The ‘an American in London’ cocktail list features classics such as the White Lady inspired by Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. Hard favourites such as the Manhattan and Rob Roy will be off-the-menu options, leaving the rest of the list to focus on relived creations including the New York Sour and Manhattan No2. If the mouth-watering array of cocktails don’t tickles guest’s fancies they have a wide selection of handpicked craft beers from British and American small boutique breweries to peruse.
Noble Russell Ltd
Noble Russell Ltd specialise in the creation and production of contract furniture to the leisure and hospitality industry. They have been in operation for 22 years and have worked on numerous projects with Russell Sage including Bread Street Kitchen and Hospital Club. The team have also been involved with The Wolseley, National Gallery Dining Rooms, and Fortnum & Mason Tea Rooms.
Part of Noble Russell Furniture’s involvement with the Avenue was in providing 18 high bar stools for the venue, which are used for those dining at the bar, as well as those simply having a quiet drink. The stools comprise dark stained beech frames, metallic leather upholstery and brass details. The company also produced all of the table tops for Avenue which feature stained veneered timber which has been lacquered to a high gloss black lacquer, along with a classy brass edge trim.
Jonathan Fort, one of Noble Russell Ltd’s Founding Directors, said:
“A lot of designers show us an inspiration image which we use to source and create the relevant product from. We ascertain whether we have any products which can be adapted in line with the customer’s requirements, or design new products specifically for that project.
“Russell Sage is a good client of ours who we have worked with for a number of years on numerous big projects. They approach us regularly requesting bespoke furniture; we pride ourselves on our long term relationships with all our clients, as well as providing a quality service and a great product.”