Sunday, October 19, 2014
Hot Dogs and Prosecco at The Delaunay Because We Want To
Yesterday, we met Joe, Jodi, and their sweetie-pie of a baby girl, Elizabeth, at The Delaunay for brunch. When we got there, I realized that I didn't feel like having any of the "typical" brunch options, even though they all sounded amazing (in particular, the "Viennese Breakfast" was tempting: smoked ham, salami, artisan Gouda, boiled egg, and a pretzel). Actually, I wanted a hot dog and fries (and, as it turned out, so did John and Jodi - Joe opted for a lobster roll). And, even though it was only 11:30, we wanted some prosecco.
So we ordered a bottle.
When our hot dogs and side of green beans arrived, we all dug in with our hands (including the beans, which we picked at, one strand at a time) even though we'd been provided with an appropriate hot-dog slicing knife and cutlery. Call us barbaric, but you can't name an item on the menu "New York hot dog" and expect us to eat it daintily with a knife and fork!
But this is one of the reasons why I love The Delaunay: no one blinks an eye. It's an elegant restaurant in a fabulous location (we once sat at the table next to author Hilary Mantel - the play, Wolf Hall, based on her book of the same name, was being performed next door at Aldwych Theatre). But it's certainly not pretentious - you can easily order half a dozen Jersey rock oysters or chicken noodle soup. It's a place where I feel like I can be myself. I've been for dinner and afternoon tea as well, and enjoyed each occasion. Service is courteous and friendly, and there's a great, buzzing atmosphere. Plus, the dining room is beautiful - we talked about how we could easily spend a whole day there (though I'm not sure how much the staff would love having us there!), enjoying a leisurely breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We finished up our unconventional brunch with warm apple, marzipan and poppy seed strudel with vanilla ice cream before heading off to Covent Garden in search of some (early) Christmas presents.
Next time you're in the West End, I'd highly recommend stopping into The Delaunay (or even The Delaunay Counter - a more laid-back version of the restaurant - for tea and cake next door) for a pink grapefruit ... or sea bass. The menu is your oyster (pun intended!).