Just opened

20 July 2004
Just opened

Pearl, London
This is the latest glam destination from the creative team behind Nobu, the Metropolitan and Le Cercle. The name comes from the building, which was originally the former banking hall of Pearl Assurance. It offers classic French fare.

Opened: 24 June
Sommelier: Michael Davis
Head chef: Jun Tanaka (formerly at the Oak Room and the Square)
Food: take your pick of scallops, langoustines or Anjou quail for starters and red mullet, Limousin veal or Welsh lamb for mains.
Average spend: £50
Seats: 70 (in restaurant)
Crowd: smart "those in the know" and City boys.
Interior designer: United Design
Address: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Tel: 020 7829 7000

Fino, Birmingham There's no stopping Patrick McDonald, who has opened another restaurant in Birmingham's upmarket shopping mall, the Mailbox. This time it's an Italian-inspired caf‚-bar and restaurant serving a classic Continental menu in an informal atmosphere. It's the chef-restaurateur's second Mailbox venture after the opening of Paris last year.

Opened: 2 July
Chef: Amjad Sanabor
Food: pasta, risotto, grills, roasts and salads
Average spend: £20-£25 lunch and dinner (without drinks)
Crowd: shoppers, office workers, young Brummies
Seats: 70
Address: The Mailbox, 120-122 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RQ
Tel: 0121-632 1232

Roka, London After some anticipation the latest venture from chef-restaurateur Rainer Becker and business partner Arjun Waney has finally opened. The name of this Japanese restaurant comes from two words: robata (Ro), which is a place where people gather to enjoy a meal, and ka, which stands for a burning fire, heat, warmth and energy. There's also a sleek Japanese interior and the basement Shochu Lounge.

Opened: 14 July
Chef-patron: Rainer Becker
Mixologist: Tony Conigliaro
Food: examples include crab cha soba at £11, pork and golden scallops gyoza at £6, lamb cutlets with Korean spices at £15 and passion fruit and cherry blossom cake with roast pineapple ice-cream for £6.30
Average spend: £15-£20 lunch; £40 dinner (both including drinks)
Capacity: 88
Interior designer: Noriyoshi Muramatsu for Super Potato, Tokyo
Address: 37 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR
Tel: 020 7580 6464

Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond, Surrey This new garden restaurant is set at the foot of Petersham House (circa 1640) at the base of Richmond Hill. The restored walled garden, nursery and caf‚ already feature in this month's Vogue and seem set for great and glamorous things. In essence, however, the idea is that you feel like you're eating in someone's home. There are only two choices for each course and they change daily depending on what's available from the garden and nursery. Admire the plants while you eat, or wander around and look at the antiques and greenhouse before or after dining.

Opens: 17 July
Owners: Gael and Francesco Boglione
Chef: Skye Gyngell (formerly at the Sugar Club, the French House and the Dorchester with Anton Mosimann - and also Vogue's food editor)
Drinks: it's unlicensed, so sip on a smoothie, juice or cup of tea
Average spend: £18-£20 (two courses without drinks)
Seats: 50 (depending on the weather, as so many seats are outside)
Crowd: Vogue readers, Richmondites and trendy day trippers
Address: Petersham Nurseries, off Petersham Road, Petersham, near Richmond, Surrey TW10 7AG
Tel: 020 8940 5230

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