A glamorous new entrant to Mayfair's burgeoning dining scene, Aquavit is the latest addition to the clutch of restaurants which have sprung up within the new St James Market development.
Second restaurants can be tricky affairs - not least when the original is a NYC icon with 23 years and 2 Michelin stars under its belt. The menu here can be described with the broad stroke of 'Nordic cuisine' but with a focus on the great seafood dishes found throughout the region.
Executive chef Emma Bengtsson, herself a Swedish native is over from Aquavit NYC to steady the ship in these early weeks. But what will this trans-atlantic outpost hang its hat on? An early preview meal a few weeks back gave some hints.
The interiors are a Martin Brudinzki (Soho House, Sexy Fish) creation. The spec is befitting of the postcode, all marble, copper, crystal and glass. The result - inviting, chic and sophisticated.
One of the most inviting and exciting elements is the horseshoe bar which overlooks the dining space. Overshadowed by an impressive and well-stocked backbar, the drinks team have put together a series of twelve seasonal cocktails which cleverly use Nordic ingredients such as Cloudberries, Birch syrup and, of course, aquavit in their composition. This in itself is a much needed addition to an area which suffers from a dearth of decent drinks and cocktail offerings.