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March 30, 2010

Overnight Sensation: London

Discreet charms

It's no small feat finding your way to Bistrothéque, London's nighttime playground of the moment. This restaurant, bar, and cabaret lounge is in an old factory hidden down an alleyway in the city's suddenly hip (and gallery-packed) far eastern fringe. Opened by nightlife impresarios and former fashion designers Pablo Flack and David Waddington, Bistrothéque announces its spare coolness right away with an unmarked door lit by a single bulb. Inside are three more doorways: The first leads to the lushly appointed, chandeliered Napoleon bar. From behind door 2 comes the roar of a raucous crowd watching camp cabaret acts. The third door takes you to the sparse, whitewashed second-floor dining room, which serves heartwarming bistro fare—a sort of greatest hits of French and British comfort food. There's seared foie gras, crisp-skinned pork belly, an excellent tarragon-laced chicken potpie, and a suitably decadent bread-and-butter pudding drenched in butterscotch sauce. Dinner, $100. At 23-27 Wadeson St.; 44-208/983-7900; www.bistrotheque.com.