London’s in the thrall of a love affair with American food – as long as it’s US fast food or Southern barbecues, that is. But it’s taken a US-based hotelier, André Balazs, to show us how it’s done properly. At the Hungarian-born hotelier’s new restaurant in Marylebone, Chiltern Firehouse, Nuno Mendes’ cooking reflects all that’s good about current US and international dining – seasonal, simple, inventive, and above all, quite delicious. Our experience there was the best meal we’ve had this year, in an effortlessly professional setting that looks set to be the most talked-about restaurant of 2014. Of course, it comes at a price – even the service is charged at 15 per cent (which, by US standards, is considered ‘acceptable’ rather than ‘good’), and the bill will easily top £150, or more if you take advantage of the enticing wine list. Guy Dimond
Read our review of Chiltern Firehouse.