The most popular restaurant in London as chosen by Zagat readers is a grandiose café-restaurant with towering pillars and sweeping archways that was formerly a car showroom and now serves high tea and coq au vin.
The 2012 London Restaurants Survey includes the ratings and reviews of 1,187 restaurants in Greater London as voted on by 5,497 local diners.
Of the 1,397 reviews posted for The Wolseley, 84 percent of diners said they liked their experience, making the west-end eatery the most popular among Zagat readers according to the latest survey released Wednesday.
The new rating bumped the previous winner, Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, to second spot.
At The Wolseley, guests dine in a bistro atmosphere in the style of old Europe, where waiters stroll by with patisserie trolleys laden with croissants and Danish pastries and lunch and dinner menus are a mix of traditional British fare, as well as French, German and Italian classics.
Dishes like shepherd’s pie, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, osso bucco, steak frites, duck confit, and Wiener Schnitzel have much of Western Europe gastronomically covered.
Many of the reader reviews were equally impressed with the energy in the restaurant and the food that was presented to them.
“A celebration from the first step into the restaurant. You are swept up by the energy of the entire experience,” wrote one Zagat reader.
“Food is creative and even ordinary sounding menu items arrive beautifully prepared as though you’ve never eaten them before. The room is upscale and fun without being overbeing. Service is generally excellent but can be haughty.”
Afternoon tea is another popular feature. For £21 diners get assorted finger sandwiches, scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, cakes and pastries and choice of teas.
Meanwhile, last month The Good Food Guide crowned Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck the top restaurant in the UK.
The full survey is available now in bookstores for $15.95, online at Zagat.com or by downloading one of their mobile apps.