Planque, a wine bar and restaurant — and “clubhouse” — in a former railway arch has opened in east London. Run by Sarah Papadimitriou, formerly of The Laughing Heart and Maōs, and Jonathan Alphandery, its main draw for those not wishing to cellar an extensive collection of wines is the restaurant, which brings Seb Myers — formerly of P. Franco, Sager and Wilde, and most instructively, the venerable Auberge de Chassignolles south west of Lyon — back to a London stove.
At P. Franco, Myers departed somewhat from the improvisationally modern style of George Tomlin, Peppe Belvedere, Giuseppe Lacorazza, Will Gleave, and Túbo Logier before him, as well as Anna Tobias’ own breaking from that style with the kind of food diners are now raving over at Cafe Deco in Bloomsbury. He in a way reconnected P. Franco to the Parisian caves à manger that it long touted as inspiration, and will bring that sensibility to Planque with the likes of red mullet tartine; grilled leeks vinaigrette with Tunworth cheese; a duck offal choux farcis; and mackerel with coco beans and greens.
Membership at Planque doesn’t just mean cellaring wine: there’s a “lounge” in which to just drink it, as well as priority restaurant reservations, while the public can benefit from a self-described “essentialist” retail store that will stock just one type of a few select products like olive oil or corkscrews.
With The Sea, The Sea having opened a new tasting menu restaurant in the same development, and Berber and Q a longtime resident, there’s a little hub of intrigue building around Acton Mews. More soon.