Balthazar

balthazar london covent gardenBalthazar is the UK outpost of one of New York’s most legendary venues … a glitzy Parisian brasserie born in the heart of the Big Apple courtesy of Keith McNally.

The cocktail list is heavy on the classics (some lesser-known) and one quick glance at the sky-high backbar will let you know these guys can do anything. Industry legend Brian Silva may even pop behind the silver countertop to fix you up something special — he made us The Diplomat, a surprisingly light rum and Branca Menta mix. And if you’re wanting a wine-filled visit, the list won’t disappoint.

The staff’s white uniforms are just as crisp as their service, so sit back and enjoy the impossibly high ceilings, marble statues, antique mirrors and slowly spinning fans. For food, there aren’t many traditional bar bites but why not treat yourself to some classic French fare? Think steak tartare and onion soup gratinée.

Best Bars tip: We say come here for more than just the food — which you have to order if you want to stay and drink — because this is really a once in a blue moon experience. And with business booming all day, from brunch to lunch to late-night dinners, you can make any excuse for a trip down.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

balthazar london covent garden exterior

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