What if Mozart went insane on hollandaise sauce? He’d open this flamboyant paean to the opulence of opera. In a design that must give the fire marshal sleepless nights, Sarastro’s every cranny has been gilded, sheathed in shimmering fabric, or filled with erotic statuary (you can’t miss the self-pleasuring Diablo). Along the walls, ten intimate opera boxes, reached up precarious stairs, survey the silliness, which is often embellished by musicians. The menu—like it matters amid such eye candy—is Turkish, though not as fun as the setting, with lots of meats (beef bourguignon, “Guinea fowl supreme”) and no shyness about the sauces. Many nights, opera singers serenade diners. It’s not dead cheap (2-course menus start at £16, 3 courses at £19), but it’s an event. And not only tourists come—locals celebrate here, too, albeit slightly apologetically.
126 Drury Lane, WC2
Our Rating Neighborhood Covent Garden & the Strand Hours Daily 12:30–midnight Transportation Tube: Covent Garden Phone 020/7836-0101 Prices Mains £15–£23 Cuisine Type Mediterranean Web site Sarastro