"Your meal will be served in the garage."

At first, we couldn’t believe our ears, and then our eyes. So we rubbed hard, it had to be a mistake, a hallucination, or so we thought. A genius idea struck thanks to Mr. Apple: We took a picture for proof.

But back at the office, when we presented our boss with the evidence, he burst with laughter upon the discovery of our blurry face in front of an old garage in London, proudly bearing an antiqued sign marked “BARNES MOTORS.”

We politely asked our trusty SoBarnes informant for an explanation, because for a short time there, we thought we were going to get a lesson on mechanical recycling. However, we learned (our curiosity is not our weakness but our strength, as is our cravings) that behind this auto shop’s sliding doors is one of London’s trendiest restaurants. The big man in charge, David Gingell, doesn’t get his hands dirty in engines, but rather, in pots. And still, the shop runs like a well-oiled machine (pun intended), offering products with a smooth finish.

As far as the menu goes, it's very simple. The menu du jour is written on a white sheet of paper - with some marks of erasure here and there - in the chef’s delicate handwriting. The cuisine features European influences, a tasty melting pot blending the best of Italy and France with succulent seasonal products. An informal bistro atmosphere, with large wooden tables and friendly hosts (it’s a great place to make new friends), and delicious no-fuss cuisine, however, elegantly served in mismatched fine china dinnerware. The menu changes with the day and, at the mercy of the market, you could be offered fresh cod with a little aioli and tender artichokes, the famous white wine mussels, or beef ribs so tasty and tender that it could make the most devout vegetarian switch teams.

This restaurant is hidden, takes no reservations (don’t bother trying the number), and does not answer to the name, BARNES MOTORS, written on the facade. Those in-the-know, aware of its Frenchy spin, know it as "Primeur," a name calling on fresh produce and delicious wines. We love this concept of tasting great appellations at very affordable prices since these bottles are put on sale when they are first produced, just out the shop.

For the record, our boss was more than delighted with our findings. So, we’ll keep our ears and eyes sharp and wide open to seek out the best places … just out the shop.

Contact our agency BARNES London

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