Today we want to say a fond farewell to Racine in London and good luck to chefs’ chef Henry Harris, who closed the restaurant in January. It was one of our top five restaurants in our inaugural Autumn 2014 guide for London and we wish Henry all the very best for whatever he does next. Reflecting the seasonal menu at Racine, here are three of our favourite restaurants from the winter guides which we have featured for their seasonal dishes.
BARCELONA – La Parra
You don’t have to go far from the city centre to stumble across a traditional old taverna unchanged for years. This one in the middle of Sants still has a vine-covered terrace at the front, a rustic dining room at the rear, and a proper wood–fired grill dominating the kitchen which turns out the juiciest, most monstrously sized steaks. Accompany this with a jug of country wine. Favourite table: a spot on the terrace in the sun, or in the front room dining room near the grill when it’s cold. £.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taberna-La-Parra-Catalunya/478535235504984.
ISTANBUL – Karaköy Lokantasi (pictured)
Of all the fine dining addresses in the supremely fashionable suburb of Karaköy, the Lokantası is made for winter. Platters of steaming meze – fava beans in homemade yoghurt, cinnamon stuffed mussels – tempt from behind a vast glass cabinet. Bow-tied waiters deliver simple seafood mains with élan, such as slow-baked Aegean octopus. Catch the seasonal haul of barbunya (red mullet) and uskumru (mackerel) until February. Favourite table: service gets tardy up the wrought iron staircase, so reserve one of the far wall banquettes on the ground floor instead. ££. www.karakoylokantasi.com.
NEW YORK – Sushi Dojo
Many rate this restaurant – not to be confused with Dojo on West 4th – as being on a par, or better than, the impossible-to-book Nakazawa or 15 East. And it’s less expensive. The look is stark but the soundtrack is warm and clubby – veryEast Village. Ingredients are fresh from the markets in Tokyo and winter is the best time to visit, when the fish from Tsukiji are fatter. Favourite table: sit on one of the 14 stools at the counter. Nigiri preparation is a spectator sport and chef David is a champion. ££. www.sushidojonyc.com.