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François O’Neill brings Parisian style brasserie to London

Published 4 February 2020

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Bringing a piece of Paris to London, this Spring François O’Neill is opening brasserie and wine bar Maison François in St James’s. With head chef Matthew Ryle at the helm in the kitchen and Ed Wyand leading the front of house team, Maison François pays homage to the traditional French brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace.

Hospitality runs in O’Neill’s veins – his father founded Brassserie St. Quentin in 1980, whch François later transformed into Brompton Bar & Grill. Meanwhile, head chef Ryle was previously head chef at Isabel, reaching the final of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2018.

The all-day venue will serve simple and seasonal food, with breads and patisserie a daily fixture. For lunch and dinner, the menu will feature brasserie classics. Expect whole fish and cuts of meat cooked over the wood-fired grill, such as John Dory and Amalfi lemon, as well as vegetable dishes including grelot onions with brown butter hollandaise, and ravioli dauphine. With an open kitchen, guests can witness the chefs at work. To top it off, a bespoke pudding trolley will make its way around the tables, offering classics such as layered gateau marjolaine and seasonal fruit tarts.

Wine lovers will be pleased to hear that downstairs wine bar Frank’s will stock over 250 bottles and magnums from French producers. Groups of up to sixteen can book a private wine room, with plates of charcuterie and terrines available to order.

In classic brasserie style, interiors will have a feeling of grandeur- think 20ft ceilings with chandeliers, off-white drapery and a 1970s inspired bronze clock as the centrepiece.

“Maison François will be everything a brasserie should be – welcoming, fun and hospitable, with classic dishes made with the best seasonal produce we can get our hands on – whilst also ripping up the rulebook when it comes to service.” says François. He adds “we’ll show great respect for the legendary restaurants we admire, whilst marrying this heritage with our love for the dining culture of cities across France. Brasserie St. Quentin is a hard act to follow, but I’m looking forward to putting my own stamp on the brasserie tradition.”

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