The Square — London, UK
When, after 25 years, the two-Michelin starred chef Philip Howard stepped down from the helm of The Square, many wondered what would happen to one of London’s most solid restaurants.
Now, after nearly a year under the knife, the newly reincarnated fine dining room has reopened under the banner of MARC, a local restaurant group with a small portfolio that includes the two-Michelin star The Greenhouse; Japanese kaiseki restaurant Umu; and private members’ club Morton’ s.
Inside, London-based agency Virgile + Partners has transformed the space from ho-hum to urban cool, lining the space with grey cemented walls; large-scale modern paintings; industrial black steel window frames; and curved mustard-coloured chairs, in a modern and minimalist, yet timeless, aesthetic. Sleek leather banquettes look inwards for a view towards the room, while table lamps and an overall art gallery lighting strategy highlights the best bits.
This philosophy continues through to the food, which is a light and inventive take on traditional French fare, courtesy of chef Clément Leroy, who sends out fresh, concise dishes such as the perfectly crisp violet artichoke served with confit quail egg and parmesan ice cream; or the tasty roasted veal sweetbread with squid, black truffle and pomelo.