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Jan 17, 2013 08:04 AM

NYC's Balthazar Opening Next Month (London)

Lots of buzz about the opening next month in Covent Garden of this beloved, Manhattan restaurant. From what I've read, the prices are going to be tres expensif. Ah well, it's London and not Manhattan SoHo, so it's to be expected.

Robert Reid, who trained under Joël Robuchon and took over for Marco Pierre White at the Oak Room will be the chef.

What I loved most about Balthazar was the great brunch one get always get. I hope they serve the same choices here.

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  1. As I New York City resident, I can tell you that Balthazar is fantastic.

    And Manhattan Soho is extremely expensive, as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bnowell

      Was your (presumed) typo supposed to be an 'a' or 1 ? I prefer, "As #1 NYC resident..."

      1. re: brokentelephone

        'Twas supposed to be an 'a'. Excellent question.

      2. re: bnowell

        SoHo - Manhattan style can be expensive, but it can't hold a candle to some places in the UK. :-) It was more fun years ago when it was more artsy and funky.

      3. Apparently a reservation line is opening shortly -- I'm going to try to book a standing brunch reservation and make it my 'thing'

        4 Replies
        1. re: brokentelephone

          It will be interesting to see where it fits into the London hierarchy of faux French brasseries. Unlike NYC, of the days before McNally started his empire, London already has a good range of places delivering this style of food - however is going to be positioned as a US faux French brasserie or will Keith try and go more French than US.....the menu seems to indicate the former.

          I did enjoy my visits to Balthazar in NYC but was that because of the magic of NYC or because of the restaurants brilliance? I will be intriguied by the reviews.

          1. re: PhilD

            l say it was due to the brilliance of the restaurant, one of my world favorites. From the old Muscadet with the oysters to a great cotes de boeuf for 2 to a wonderful brandade to the best sticky bun anywhere. Wonderful service, l could go on forever.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I wonder if they sell the sticky buns in the shop next door. I will definitely check that out.

        2. The fact that it's in the Covent Garden neighborhood alone will add another few pounds and a couple of quids, lol.

          The Manhattan Baltazar already draws an international/touristy clientele anyway. My guess is that Balthazar London will keep with it's Franco-American theme. There's not a lot of reason to deviate from its success but if anything they should go ahead and put mushy peas on the menu.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mushroomaffairs

            I hope they don't put mushy peas on the menu, and I bet I'm not alone.

            1. re: mushroomaffairs

              Unfortunately, Covent Garden is a touristy pain in the ass -- personally, I'd prefer if Balthazar opened in Mayfair, perhaps on Mount Street or somewhere in Knightsbridge.

            2. I finally got to Balthazar for lunch yesterday. My daughter-in-law is in London for a few days after a week each in the Cotswolds and Cornwall.

              I had a scrummy Eggs Benedict and she had the steak sandwich. All in all it was a good experience with excellent service and there's a huge menu. The seafood offerings from a large seafood bar were very tempting, but I'll have that another time.

              It seemed to me that the lush dining rooms make it a much larger space than the NYC SoHo branch - looks and feels a lot more authentic than some of the other brasseries in town, but of course it's the food that really matters most.

              Our meal didn't come to much more than a burger with fries and a bowl of soup at Kopapa, so this seems good value for money. By 1, the restaurant was full... appeared to be lots of local workers rather than tourists.

              Next store is a very nice-looking bakery. Tourists walking by seemed amazed by the £2.50 price for a croissant. Welcome to London.

              3 Replies
              1. re: zuriga1

                I'm excited about this news. I love Balthazar and hope your experience means it will be as good in London as it is in NYC.

                Shockingly enough, a bakery in Raleigh is selling croissants for just under $4. We're not talking London. Yikes.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  I don't think you'll be disappointed with the London Balthazar. Of course, I haven't been to the NYC branch in quite a few years.

                  That's a lot for a croissant in Raleigh. They sure better be good for that price! Amazing....

                  1. re: zuriga1

                    Now I just need to get back to London ...

                    Ridiculous price for a croissant in Raleigh.