Eating Out: Restaurant news

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The Independent Culture
l The City finally looks set to shed its image as a gastronomic desert following two restaurant openings. 1 Lombard Street (0171 929 6611), is the brainchild of Soren Jessen, the main backer of London's ultra-cool Atlantic Bar and Grill when it launched. The new 160-seat brasserie and 55-seat restaurant offer everything from Beluga caviare (50g for pounds 78) - good to celebrate a hefty rise on the FTSE - to the more modest Burgundy snails. Terence Conran has also set foot in the Square Mile for the first time with Coq D'Argent (0171 395 5000), a restaurant and bar on the rooftop of No 1 Poultry, complete with designer gardens and roof terraces.

l Two of Scotland's best chefs, Glyn Stevens and John Rutter, have quit Edinburgh's Atrium restaurant to set up The Marque (0131 466 6660). The new venture on Causewayside opened last week, in time for the Festival. The duo are offering a daily-changing menu - ideal for when you just can't face another alternative dance troupe.

l Pop musician Baby Face has joined forces with MTV and Planet Hollywood's Robert Earl to liven up the previously fuddy-duddy Swiss Centre on London's Leicester Square. The new eaterie (pic-tured above) has giant video screens and wall-to-wall monitors showing the latest singles releases. The Sound Republic (0171 287 1010) is likely to become the restaurant for star-gazers from autumn when an MTV film studio and live music venue open within the building.

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