Last summer, the Evening Standard reported that Keith McNally was in talks to open a London version of Balthazar with Richard Caring, an investor in Pulino's and owner of Le Caprice as well as the Ivy and other big UK restaurants. At the time, McNally told us that he hadn't seen the space, nor agreed to anything, because he was so busy opening his white-hot Bowery pizza joint.
Now Zagat is reporting that Caring and McNally are in fact working together to create a New York-style bistro in the vein of Balthazar in a space in Covent Garden, London. Apparently the paperwork is done, and the plan is to open around this time next year, with Keith on hand to oversee the restaurant's debut. Hopefully, if McNally does return to his native England, he won't have deal with any more fickle community board members or graffiti scrawling nimbys, like the ones that thwarted his plans for a West Village restaurant last year.
Update: The official word from McNally: "Nothing definite yet, but it's a possibility."
· Balthazar London Coming From Keith McNally [Zagat]
· McNally Heads to Native London with Covent Garden Space? [~ENY~]