The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Pl., Mayfair
At Hélène Darroze, delicious and traditional French cuisine is served in an airy and elegant setting. The food is reminiscent of lazy meals on weekend mornings in southwestern France, where the chef grew up—the Saturday brunch is not to be missed.
160 Piccadilly, Mayfair
Famed restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King's transformation of the Motor Car building spectacularly highlights the original features (marble pillars, grand staircases, and modern arches) of this art deco gem. The grand café boasts a loyal following, delicious European brasserie fare, great brunch, and an excellent afternoon tea. Their breakfast is particularly good: Case in point, the abundant pastries, cappucinos, and poached eggs over salmon on toast.
14-16 Bruton Pl., Mayfair
The kaiseki here is traditional in its form but often modern in its offerings, with a set menu of eight exciting, meticulous, and ingredient-focused dishes and an impressive wine and sake list. With a choice between a regular or a sushi kaiseki, the offerings vary on what's in season, and you can really tell that whatever arrives before you was plucked from a stand that very day. They also have à la carte sushi options, but if you can, go with the set menu, as it's worth it for the experience.
55 Jermyn St., Mayfair
30 Brook St., Mayfair
The secret to a great Japanese restaurant is often in the details: Simple, fresh ingredients, delicately-sliced fish, perfectly-seasoned rice, and decoratively-plated fruit. Ikeda does all of these things and more in a small, unassuming room with kimono-clad waitresses. Go for the omakaseif you're a sushi lover. Cooked options, liked the grilled meats and fishes, are excellent as well.
4 Princes St., Mayfair
Even though it's a total gem, you won't find Chisou in any London guidebooks. It's traditional Japanese, and the experience is rounded out with hand towels and a serious sake menu. Make sure you try GP's pick, the spinach salad with spicy shrimp (GP loves it so much she orders two). If you're short on time or budget, try Chisou To Go, where you can pick up sushi, salad, and noodles for the road.
118 Piccadilly, Mayfair
Arjun Waney (of Zuma, Roka and La Petite Maison) took a bit of a departure by opening this Peruvian eatery. The food is fantastic and skews traditional with fresh ceviche and lots of skewered meats and fish. The basement houses the main restaurant while the ground floor and terrace, which includes an open grill and a pisco bar, are members only.
8 Mount Street (Closed)
8 Mount St., Mayfair
This splashy new brasserie is on one of Mayfair's most exclusive streets, near the Berkeley hotel, the Celine flagship, and a number of other upscale shops and institutions. The cozy space practically glistens, covered in bronze tiles and a long leather banquette that spans the room. The menu is equally comforting, as it's certainly not out there to break any boundaries with its familiar dishes and mediterranean bent—there's lobster linguini, grilled langoustines, and a phenomenal Dover Sole. It's a welcome addition to the area which needs more lunch/dinner/drinks spots.
17 Berkeley St., Mayfair
After months and months of construction and delays, Alan Yau's Park Chinois is finally open. He's known for creating incredible restaurants and then selling them (Wagamama, Yuautcha, the list goes on) and this may just beat them all. At Park Chinois, as they're more than happy to explain, the theme is the 1930's, the era of the Cotton Club, Big Band Jazz, and Shanghai's golden age. After a dinner of Shanghai-style delights like Bang Bang Chicken Salad and Shabu Shabu, it's time to dance to some live big band swing in the gilded ballroom—it's the stuff of pure fantasy.
16 Picton Pl., Mayfair
London's newest Mexican spot has landed in Mayfair and befitting of its upscale neighborhood, this taco shack has been tricked up to the max with Mexican memorabilia. The nicely concise and well-edited menu of tacos—from traditional baja fish tacos, to cochinita (marinated pork) to their signature chicken molé, to Peruvian anticuchos (skewers), which are a slight departure—come accompanied by a slew of tequila-based cocktails (and a few choice wines and basic drinks for the faint of heart), which makes Molé the perfect start to a big night out in Central London.