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September 5, 2013

Restaurateur Joel Kissin Opens Boulestin Restaurant and Café in London

By Chris Boyle

boulestin_Restaurateur Joel Kissin’s much-anticipated Boulestin restaurant and café has opened in London.

Kissin, who alongside Sir Terence Conran was credited with changing the face of the London restaurant scene, has taken his inspiration from X. Marcel Boulestin, the renowned restaurateur, cookbook author and pioneering TV presenter, described by The Guardian’s Matthew Fort as “the most imaginative and liberating food writer of his time.”

A re-imagining of the original, Boulestin is located in a glorious 17th century building in St James’s. It comprises a warm and inviting restaurant, with 60 covers, that serves a predominantly French menu. The room leads onto a delightful, almost private courtyard, surrounded by period buildings, for al fresco dining.

At the front the 30-seat Café Marcel can be found, which offers lighter, faster all-day dining and a no-reservations policy.

Boulestin’s offering is further enhanced by a beautiful downstairs private dining room that seats up to 44 and is ideal for all manner of private and corporate events.

Andrew Woodford, previously of Colbert and The Wolseley, heads up the kitchens. Woodford spent several months prior to launch working with Joel Kissin to create an extensive menu for both the restaurant and the café, including dishes inspired by Marcel Boulestin’s original recipes.

Stand-out dishes include starters such as ‘Oeuf en gelée’ – poached eggs in jellied consommé – and ‘Jambon persillé’, alongside mains that include ‘Cassoulet’ and ‘Roast pigeon with ceps, bacon and cabbage’.

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The food is complemented by a list of some 160 wines and champagnes, of which 60% are French. Eighteen wines are available by the glass.

Boulestin’s charming interiors are the work of award-winning consultancy DesignLSM, New York-based Frank De Biasi Interiors and Joel Kissin with his partner, Carlos Afonso. The design takes full advantage of the building’s many period features, including a conservatory that floods the restaurant with natural light.

A key feature of Boulestin is the impressive marble floor, which comprises a black and beige design inspired by Lutyens. Additional features include a marble bar, cognac-colored leather banquette seating and green leather 1930s chairs by Marc du Plantier. The space is filled with paintings and drawings after those of famous French printmaker Jean-Émile Laboureur.

Boulestin also boasts some antique lighting and mirrors, which were sourced by Kissin himself.General Manager is Nicolas Schleich, one of the capital’s most experienced industry professionals, who has previously worked at such leading venues as Momo, Noble Rot and Blakes hotel.

Visit or call +44 20 7930 2030.

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