Compared to Rome, London’s food and beverage scene moves a mile and minute. No matter how many hours a day I dedicate to the task, I constantly fail to keep up with all the new openings and judging what’s great. And what’s great vs what’s crap from a press release isn’t foolproof. That’s where interviewing chefs comes in handy. Last week I was in London working on a forthcoming food piece for the NYT and the conversation turned to recent worthwhile openings. Lots of names were bandied about, including that of Zédel, the newest endeavor of Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King.

The ambitious polyfunctional endeavor starts on the ground floor with a Parisien cafe, where I paused for a slice of phenomenal raspberry tart while killing time until the subterranean Bar Américain opened at 4:30pm. At the prescribed opening time, I followed the textured wallpaper-clad corridor downstairs two flights and entered an art deco lobby with doors leading to the similarly decorated brasserie, cabaret, bar, and god knows what else. There may very well be 20 more venues in the building. The thing is huge.

I asked for the Bar Américain and was ushered into a low-lit art deco space, where I sipped champagne cocktails at a corner table. The stunning space was designed by David Collins, who successfully transports visitors into 1930s Paris. The prices, however are contemporary. Drinks start at £9, a small price to pay for time travel.

Zédel is located at 20 Sherwood St.