TRAVEL -- If you want to dine out 007-style, you might want to start out a literary Bond’s favorite London restaurant, Scott’s. Formerly located on Coventry Street, is now at 20 Mount Street in Mayfair.
Scott’s was originally opened as an oyster warehouse in 1851 by a young fishmonger by the name of John Scott and rapidly evolved into the now famous seafood restaurant and oyster bar. The restaurant has been housed on two sites, initially in Haymarket (Coventry Street) until 1968, when the restaurant re-located to its current site in Mayfair. Established as one of the most fashionable and glamorous eateries in town the restaurant has welcomed film stars, politicians and writers through the decades. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond was often seen at Scott’s in the ‘50s and ‘60s and it was reportedly here that he discovered the dry martini ’shaken not stirred’. The restaurant was also mentioned in a moment of movie history in the film ’The Great Escape’, talked about as a dream destination by two POWs as the first place they wish to go when the war is over. Scott’s was acquired by Caprice Holdings in 2005, when work commenced in order to bring the restaurant back to its former glory as a seafood restaurant and oyster bar. It re-opened in November 2006 to critical acclaim.
As the New York Times put it, “Once you walk past the liveried doorman and set foot in Scott’s, the venerable seafood restaurant where even clarified butter is raised to an art, the world ceases to exist.” Scott’s truly takes fine seafood dining to the next level. Scott’s has a superb cocktail selection, and a near perfect ambiance. After a martini, I ordered a dozen mixed oysters with wild boar sausages, and then for my entree, I went with the fillet of cod with padron peppers and chorizo, accompanied by a California Chardonnay. Of course, if you want to really recreate a Bond moment, you could try the dressed crab with a Black Velvet, as Bond suggests to chief of staff, Bill Tanner, in chapter three of Diamonds are Forever. Check out Scott’s at www.scotts-restaurant.com.