Brasseries seem to have the perfect date night vibe with their dim lit burgundy interiors and endless hanging wine glasses. The newly refurbished and buzzing The Ivy Soho Brasserie is no different: a perfect blend of French brasserie, art deco and modern/pop art gallery with velvet couches and Andy Warhol-esque wallpaper, you’ll likely need a reservation well in advance.
Who you’ll see
A perfect weekday or weekend date night spot, the Ivy Soho Brasserie exudes a lounge-like atmosphere with a live DJ, large island bar, and mood lighting. As a result, you’ll probably find lots of couples on dates & a semi-professional crew during the week (spot the suits), while weekends will fill up with large group dinners and trendy GNOs. The restaurant is large for London standards and truly beautiful, not to mention it’s extensive sofa format allows for cozy group dining.
What you’ll eat
The all day menu is just that: casual, but quality food suitable any time of day. I admit, it’s not about michelin star dining here, but rather about being able to choose anything on the menu without “getting it wrong.” We started off with Atlantic sea scallops on a stunning bed of bright pea puree (see below), and steak tartare with laphroaig (FYI that’s a scotch, and FYI I googled that) complete with a piece of smoking barrel (caught on Insta-Story).
For mains, we went with the blackened cod fillet and bone-in ribeye. Being Asian, and naturally biased, I would of course opt for miso cod any day, but this was easily a close second with it’s flaky texture and bright tangy salad. Of course, we also had to try the infamous chocolate bombe, melted with hot salted caramel sauce right at the table…#foodporn. All in all, zero complaints from the palette but definitely elevated by the atmosphere.
What to drink
I think I’ve never had a dinner with my bf without at least a bottle of wine. And I think it’s definitely a problem. But one we’re probably going to avoid for the next year or two…or three. If you’re a fan of dry reds, you need to try this bottle of Malbec.
What to expect
Personally, I think staff can make or break a place and I always love to comment on this having moved from New York where tips are creeping past an egregious 20% and waiters almost don’t do their jobs otherwise. I found the staff at the Ivy Soho Brasserie, decked out in little bow-ties and white suit jackets, perfectly attentive, keeping my wine glass full but not too full at all times and checking in often, but not obsessively.
With heated outdoor seating, the Ivy Soho Brasserie is definitely going to be one of my go-to date night picks for breezy London nights.