Gentrification's such a dirty word, what with its connotations of disrespect, upheaval, and illegal fox-hunting. Hoping not to gentrify, but instead to revitalize one of the city's true dead zones: The Chiswell Street Dining Rooms.
Adventurously taking over the space left by the original 1750 Whitbread Brewery, Chiswell nods to its heritage with the bar (made from a vast single slab of chestnut), while adding a more modern lilt via polished wood floors, green leather chairs, and, keeping your legs from falling asleep, coffee-coloured banquettes. Bar food runs from clubs & burgers to a Bookmaker's Sandwich (grilled sirloin w/ browned Lyonnaise onions), while sit-down starters count seared foie w/ spiced apple brioche and a port reduction, and poached langoustines from the remote Scottish Isle of Benbecula, whose residents still speak mostly Gaelic, not that you'd be able to understand them regardless. Heftiness includes a breaded veal escalope w/ a large fried duck egg and anchovies; a roast fillet of cod aided by sautéed asparagus & shellfish ravioli; and a Middle White pork fillet stuffed w/ porcine mince & sausage meat, served alongside a roasted Braeburn apple, pickle jus, and "black and white pudding" (apparently pudding technology's stuck in the '50s).
Heading barwards reveals cocktails like the New York Sour (Bulleit and lemon/lime topped w/ Merlot), and the Lime Leaf (gin, Cointreau, ginger syrup), as well as a host of rare microbrews like St Austell Clouded Yellow, Harviestoun Porter, and Dark Star Sunburst -- a beer that caused much upheaval for people used to saying "Let's get blotto on Opal Fruits".