When a restaurant operates continuously at full occupancy (with an even fuller waiting list), you know it has acquired a reputation for more than just delicious food. Most often it’s because of its social capital: it’s no longer just a place to get fed and be merry, but instead a place to see and be seen. Notting Hill’s Casa Cruz, opened by Juan Santa Cruz in 2015, is one establishment to have achieved such a feat, so we were rather excited to hear the Chilean restaurateur was opening another outpost in Mayfair’s Albemarle Street. His new offering, Isabel, doesn’t disappoint. The decor is almost as decadent and exquisite as the Mediterranean fare with Argentine influences served prettily on small plates. Amber lighting and gold accents, Chinoiserie and Art Deco touches are all on the menu, while the downstairs bar and DJ space features padded, silk-brocade walls in emerald green with blue dragons. Waitstaff are decked out in custom looks from Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz, so expect some major fashion moments from the clientele too.
Isabel, 26 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4HX