St Barts is the new restaurant from the team behind Nest in Hackney and Fenn in Fulham. We’ve been huge fans of these guys ever since Nest opened back in 2018 and it’s been great to watch their continued success. From a slightly ramshackle room on a busy main road in Hackney to St Barts, a beautiful modern dining room in a quiet, pretty square opposite St Bartholomew’s Church, this latest venture is a huge jump and a marker of how far they’ve come.
A slicker dining room is one thing but what about the food? Well, we’ll come right out and say it: this is undoubtedly one of the meals of the year and we’ll be surprised if anything comes along that feels more assured and exciting than this. As with their other restaurants, St Barts follows a set, tasting menu format – although the days of the incredible value £28 menu at Nest are long gone! At St Barts, the 15-course menu is £120 at dinner, and boy is it worth it.
In recognition of the fact that even avid restaurant goers can get a little weary of extremely lengthy tasting menus, the guys have thought seriously about how to break up such a long menu, creating a dinner of two halves as it were. When you first arrive you’ll be sat in the cosy bar area at the front of the restaurant and from here you can have a cocktail or glass of fizz while the first round of snacks arrives – accounting for around 7 of the 15 courses.
We won’t go through each one but suffice it to say, they are all absolute bangers and some of the best morsels of food we’ve had all year. If we had to choose particular highlights we’d pick out the goat cheese and onion tart; the crisp cod fritter; and the punchy offal kebab. Seriously good stuff and you could have walked out at the end of that run and left very happy indeed.
But there is much more to come. Moving to a proper table in the dining room for the second half of the meal, things just get better. There were beautiful, finely chopped scallops and peppers in a rich broth; a warm bowl of buttery smooth sweetcorn topped with pickled girolles mushrooms; delicate crab laced with nutmeg and mace; and beef topped with a wonderfully tart sauce of pickled onions and mushroom. A honey and lavender tart was the final satisfying note of a pitch perfect meal.
There have been some strong restaurant openings in London this year but few have stood out like St Barts. It’s a team that has been learning, developing and perfecting with each new opening and with St Barts it feels like they’ve got a restaurant that will really put them on the map. We wouldn’t be surprised if they land a Michelin star pretty sharpish for this place, so get down there soon while you can still get in!
63 Bartholomew Cl, London EC1A 7BG