Maison François: a traditional brasserie in the heart of St James’s
Better late than never: traditional brasserie and wine bar Maison François was originally due to open in St James’s in the spring, but plans were of course put on hold following the outbreak of Covid-19. The restaurant is run by François O’Neill, for whom hospitality is ingrained in the family: his father Hugo co-founded Brasserie St Quentin in 1980, with François transforming it into the much-loved Brompton Bar & Grill in 2008.
The kitchen is headed by Matthew Ryle, who honed his culinary skills at The Dorchester before taking on the prestigious post of head chef at Isabel. Ryle’s name also reached a whole new crowd when the chef made it to the finals of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2018.
Seated below elegant art deco chandeliers, look forward to freshly baked goods in the morning, followed by the likes of Loch Ryan oysters, rustic terrines and house-cured charcuterie later in the day. French classics such as Reblochon gougères and jambon noir de Biggore feature too, as do handmade pasta dishes and wood-fired specials. A dessert trolley boasting gorgeously presented classics (layered gâteau Marjolaine and fruit tarts among them) will rattle to your table before you leave, and a laid-back, downstairs bar, Frank’s, might hold you hostage late into the evening.
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Opens Monday 14 September
Maison François, 34 Duke Street, St James's, London SW1Y 6BN