Named after himself it is the mirror image of his Joe Allen New York site, a subterranean restaurant, with crisp white table cloths, long aproned waiters and a long eat over bar complete with speed rail.
When Joeís opened it was not only in theatre land, it was also all about a dining experience filled with theatre, where the waiters were wannabe actors, producers and directors and the cast and crew of the West Endís best theatrical productions would use it as their own canteen. Joe Allen rapidly became the place to hang-out, packed with every film, television, fashion, rock and stage celebrity.
Nothing has changed, the brick work walls are adorned with posters of classic musical and stage productions, famous American stars and the odd sporting icon (a nod to Joe Allenís love of sport).
The food is always American. Steaks, grills and salads, appetisers and market fish. Ice cream, jellies and brownies.
The service is as always relaxed and informal complementing the all American beer menu and outstanding world wine list.
Open 7 days come and enjoy the ultimate American dining experience for brunch, lunch, dinner and of course before and after a show.
Our newly refurbished and flexible Private Room for between 24 and 50 guests with tailored menus for receptions, buffets and canapť parties. The perfect menu for group bookings.
"Upmarket and very good, Amercian burger joint and grill "Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
With its convenient location close to Covent Garden this has been a frequent haunt for business lunches and dinners as well as social nights out on the town. Many use it as a place before and after theatre and itís location is ideal for this Ė especially if you are seeing The Lion King and need somewhere that is vaguely (older) kid friendly.
Just off the beaten track, immediately upon entering you go down some stairs into a vast, dark, cellar-like restaurant. I seem to remember a piano being there but canít remember ever hearing anyone play Ė but maybe I was too engrossed in my conversation. And itís definitely a good place to chat Ė the ambient noise is buzzy but you donít have to shout at your dining companion.
In short itís an upmarket Amercian burger joint and grill Ė but a very good one with a long standing reputation as the sort of place where you might spot a (minor) celebrity. Iíve only ever seen Christopher Biggins in there although I canít say that I particular go there to watch for famous folk.
To be fair, there is quite a wide choice on the menu with burgers and ribs supplemented with tuna, chicken breasts and pork. And they appear to change things quite regularly. I usually have some wine when I am there but I canít say whether a real expert would find much of great interest.
But Joe Allens is one of those places that you need to experience at least once in your London life.
KimT reviewed Joe Allen on Tue 29 Jul 2008