The latest addition to Marylebone’s Portman Village, The Lockhart is a southwest US kitchen offering vibrant flavours paired with local and seasonal British ingredients. The Lockhart is the brainchild of two Texan couples – Gwen and Chris Wren and Shelby and Dunny Wanstrath, who after years of London living decided to pursue their dream of owning their own restaurant and showcasing their ‘native’ cuisine.
From the offset, it’s fairly obvious no stone was left unturned in the creation of The Lockhart – traces of lots of time and effort can be seen all over the restaurant – from the Chef’s Table that was built by the very hands of the head chef and former MasterChef professional contestant himself, Andrew Justice, to the carefully decorated interior that feels light, spacious and homely with touches of Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico scattered all over.
Although summer seemed to have long since departed, it was warm enough to sit outside under The Lockhart’s awning on the quiet, one-way end of Seymour Place. Welcomed by a polite and friendly member of The Lockhart’s team (headed up by maitre d’ Bunmi, previously of LIMA & Dinner by Heston Blumenthal), we got straight into the menu. A browse of the menu (there is also a set lunch menu) and you really want to order one of everything, with a selection of bites and sides that just add to the complexity. ‘Dunny’s lobster nachos’ and ‘boneless chicken wings’ were at the top of the list for us – the lobster nachos were each a small feast in themselves, offering a bit of a spice that went perfectly with the fresh guacamole they were served with. Meanwhile the boneless chicken wings (pictured top) came with an addictive BBQ sauce and were super flavoursome – we only wished there were more!
Sure, it was only 12.45 on a Saturday lunchtime but with both myself and my company feeling a little on the side of sensitive from the night before, we had no choice but to push on through – one ‘oaxaca gold’ and one ‘berry paloma’ were soon on their way from the cocktail bar downstairs at The Lockhart – itself a great space just for drinks and bites. The oaxaca gold has fruity mango roots and comes with a pinch of chilli, whilst the berry paloma was refreshing but also gives a bit of a kick from its tequila base – we both were feeling much better about ourselves after a few sips.
Soon after our mains arrived – one ‘Pork Belly’ and one ‘Verde Chicken Enchiladas’. The Pork Belly came well presented on a wooden board – the pork had a strong smoked flavour that was nicely softened by a smooth celeriac puree alongside a celeriac & apple salad and crispy chicharones. Meanwhile the chicken enchiladas made for a tasty, comforting and cosy dish – fit for warming you up in the middle of winter.
Although struggling after our feast so far, we decided to split the warm and fresh apple cinnamon doughnuts – filled with apple puree, dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with butterscotch dipping sauce. A great end to an already great meal.
The Lockhart certainly gets our stamp of recommendation, from the atmosphere of the restaurant itself to its versatile and well thought through menu making it a great place for a meal of nearly any kind.
22-24 Seymour Place
Nearest Tube: Marble Arch
Phone: 020 3011 5400
Website: The Lockhart