After months and months of rumors and speculation, famed restaurateur Keith McNally confirms to Eater that an outpost of his New York restaurant Balthazar will open in London, England in February. In an email earlier today, the restaurateur offered, "Yes, Official. Opening February 12th for sure." It will be located at 4-8 Russell Street, in Covent Garden.
A recent review of Balthazar New York in London publication City A.M. shared a few details on the project, before there had been official confirmation from the Balthazar camp. McNally will be teaming up with restaurateur Richard Caring, "the man behind the Ivy, Le Caprice, J Sheekey, the Soho House group and the Wentworth golf club." McNally confirms that the two are partners in the venture. The author of the piece, Edwin Smith, described how "although there has been no official announcement yet, back in New York our waitress let slip that they have had the workmen in to take measurements of the pillars, lights and mirrors so the interior of the London Balthazar resembles that of the original as closely as possible." This will be the first time McNally opens a restaurant overseas, as well as a sequel directly modeled, and named after, one of his previous restaurants.
The New York outpost of Balthazar opened in 1997. In its most recent official review of the restaurant, in 2004, the New York Times awarded it two stars. Amanda Hesser, serving as interim critic at the time, wrote favorably of how the restaurant had held up: "Keith McNally was right all along — a dining institution needs more than just great food." As McNally describes in the foreword of the Balthazar cookbook, he was born in a working class section of London. He has been living in the English capital for several months now.
More details as they become available.