Opened in September 2009, in London’s iconic hotel The Lanesborough, Apsleys, A Heinz Beck Restaurant is the first restaurant outside Italy created by internationally renowned chef, Heinz Beck. Holder of three Michelin stars at La Pergola in Rome, Beck soon earned the restaurant its own Michelin Star, when in February 2010 it became the fastest London establishment to be bestowed with the award. Apsleys, is overseen by Beck and his handpicked brigade of chefs, the majority of whom are Italian and many of which have worked under Beck for many years.
On my correspondence with the Lanesborough Pr Miss Malin Lund, I book from New York a traditional lunch to experience the very popular 3 course ” menu del giorno” curious to find out about the culinary marvels signed by new Beck’s executive chef protege and number two at Three Michelin starred La Pergola in Rome, Heros De Agostinis, who has taken over the reins of Apsleys, a Heinz Beck Restaurant in London.
With its enviable location, situated on the borders of Knightsbridge and Belgravia, in the heart of London and panoramic views of Hyde Park, The Lanesborough has long been considered one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. We arrive at the elegant , slightly austere entrance hall and led to a stunning Venetian-style dining room, with its glass roof and plush upholstery, apparently one of London’s most beautiful dining spaces.
The handsome, restrained art deco interior featuring breathtaking chandeliers are by designer Adam Tihany responsible for the design of some of the world’s most famous restaurants including Le Cirque, Jean-Georges and Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in California .
I am received by an array of elegantley dressed Italian speaking maitres, waiters and a sommelier , who in in gray suits with velevet details hand the menu to us, unfold napkins and run for allocating a space for our handbags and cameras while others simply offer a choice of pretty small breads of all kinds.
With the I-phone by my side, I am exited to soon experience visually , marvelous artistic culinary compositions that will be instantly registered with the chef approval on my instagram directly to hundreds of followers that will ask me recipes, the adress,and immediate geotagging of such dishes for future consumption. It’s a new era.
I am informed about the two wine tasting rooms that offer an impressive variety of wines, many of which are available by the glass.
Our cosen Menus del Giorno will be Sea bass tartare in bread crust with cantaloupe melon, Halibut fillet with crushed lime potatoes and celery, Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Ignaz Niedrist Orange jelly with bergamot ice (Affectionately renamed by us as MIU MIU looking just like the lates RTW print collection by the celebreitalian Brand) Pumpkin and ginger soup with crispy ravioli of Taleggio, “Pappa al pomodoro” tortellini, a typical Sicilian dish, an impeccable Barbera d’Alba 2010, Pio Cesare,and Chocolate and vanilla sphere with raspberry heart. We restricted on wines with desserts because of a tight afternoon schedule although the numerous suggestions were extremely tempting.
We know that Beck continues spending much of his time in London, overseeing the work in the kitchens of Apsleys and working closely with Heros and the rest of his handpicked brigade of chefs and honestly together with Agostinis, Beck has created a menu that focuses delicious but lighter Mediterranean-inspired dishes obviously being concerned with keeping dishes healthy and as approachable as they are exciting. We enjoyed tremendously each and every royal dish, of subtle taste and innovative quality without feeling a sense of ‘heaviness” or uncomforted having to go back to work for a few more hours.
The a la carte menu if you decide to come for dinner or have more time to enjoy a special lunch, is traditionally Italian with antipasti, soup, pasta, meat and fish main courses as well as desserts. Signature dishes include ‘Seabass Cannolo with celery and melon’, ‘Black cod with chickpeas’, ‘Slow braised veal cheek with apple puree and Jerusalem artichokes’, and the magnificent Carbonara Fagotelli of melt-in-the-mouth pasta parcels.
After all, my friends there has been a reason why the Lanesborough has long enjoyed its status as one of the world’s most luxurious and lauded hotels and the involvement of Heinz Beck at Apsleys has only furthered this enviable reputation.
Go for it, I recommend.
Heinz Beck recipe
Risotto with olive oil and Grana Padano, vegetables and scampi “in pinzimonio”
240 gr Rice
50 ml White wine
600 ml Veal stock, or vegetable stock
45 gr Grana Padano cheese, grated
1 knob Butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Vegetables and scampi “in pinzimonio” 8 Scampi
4 Green asparagus
White balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
4 servings For 4 people
European : Mediterranean : Italian
1. The risotto: Toast the rice until translucent in a frying-pan with a knob of butter. Pour
white wine and evaporate.
Add the hot tomato consommé slowly, stirring continuously.
When the rice is ‘al dente’, toss with grated Grana Padano cheese.
Stir until cooked, adding extra virgin olive oil and salt, if needed.
2. The vegetables and scampi “in pinzimonio”: Shell the scampi and clean
them, removing channels on back.
Wash and peel the vegetables. Cut them into long strips and add to scampi.
Marinate scampi together with vegetables with some drops of lemon juice, the white balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt for 15
How to prepare
Place the risotto at the center of the plate and garnish it with vegetables and scampi “in pinzimonio”, chervil and edible flowers.