York & Albany Restaurant
In between cursing on the telly and steering his global restaurant empire, British megachef Gordon Ramsay made his debut as a hotelier last September. He put his gifted protégé Angela Hartnett in charge of the hotel’s kitchen. He also hired British interior designer Russell Sage to bewitch a derelict 1826 coaching inn into a Regency-inspired 10-room confection. Even the mattresses are from Hypnos—the very same brand found in Buckingham Palace. The not-quite-ideal location on a busy road in Camden Town, in North London, hasn’t stopped the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow from dining at the hotel’s restaurant, where the earthy sophistication of Hartnett’s dishes—warm wood-pigeon salad with roasted quince; sea bream with crushed potatoes and cucumber sauce—comes at bargain prices. From the $27 set lunch to bar tapas, the entire menu can be had in-room, too. Then again, why miss out on the action in the sultry-red basement dining space that evokes a postmodern bordello?
T+L Tip At Hartnett’s Nonna’s Deli, in the former stable, you’ll find all the makings (including La Perla di Torino truffles) for an haute picnic in nearby Regent’s Park.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.