Elysee, W1

Elysee 218x300 Elysee, W1Elysée has been snuggled away in Fitzrovia since 1936, firmly establishing it as London’s oldest Greek restaurant.  Following a 12 month refurbishment program, the restaurant and bar has seen one it’s most significant transformations in its long history.  The new look has revealed three elegantly designed areas; a ground-floor restaurant with an opulent 1930s feel; a new cocktail bar; and an impressive 700 square foot roof top garden which seats up to 40 people, come rain or shine with its retractable, all-weather roof. 

The restaurant interior has been sympathetically restored with a nod to the building’s Georgian heritage.  However, the designers have also managed to include quirky design touches such as the stunning, artistically designed chandelier centrepiece constructed with broken plates.  The extensive use of luxurious materials such as leather, silks and hints of gold leaf lend to an understated elegance that is rarely seen in London’s Greek restaurants.  This upmarket approach appears to have had the desired effect, with a smart and wealthy Greek clientele making up the majority of customers on the Friday night of our visit. 

The menu has also seen an update, with consultant chef Rufus Wickham adding a contemporary twist to traditional Greek cuisine. Dishes range from classics of assorted Mezedes and Grills to more creative plates of Pot Roast Quail and Crisp Whole Red Mullet Stuffed with Fennel & Tomato. Flavours and cooking are of a good standard and dishes are particularly well presented – crucial for a restaurant with high-end dining aspirations.

To complement the fresh, Mediterranean flavours on the menu, the bar offers a unique list of Greek inspired cocktails along with the classics.  As the sun goes down, the tempo goes up, with upbeat live jazz music from 6pm followed by traditional Greek music from 11pm and a late night licence until 3.30am. For those after an authentic Greek dining experience, guests are even permitted a spot of plate smashing later in the night.

Food: 3.5/5
Venue: 4/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine: Greek
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £55
Wine: £5.50
Cocktails: 8.50

Elysée
13 Percy Street
Fitzrovia
London W1T 1DP
020 7636 4804
www.elyseerestaurant.com

minilink Elysee, W1