Wow Factor Christmas Gift Dining

For last-minute Christmas gifts, particularly for the food-lover in your life, a reservation at a top toptable restaurant wrapped up with a promise to take the recipient there — well, what could top it?  Be sure you choose a spot that will totally wow them.   Like these!
Le Gavroche — Michel Roux Jr has bags of wow factor not because it’s glitzy or grand, but rather because it does everything to perfection.  The  Michelin-starred cuisine, the effortless service, the charming and luxurious dining room, the superb wines all conspire to create one of life’s memorable dining experiences.  And if you’re feeling naughty, bunk off work, bring your co-conspirator and throw yourself into the £40 lunch menu, one of London’s greatest culinary bargains.
For opulence on a grand scale, nothing beats The Criterion in Piccadilly Circus.  Serving food and wine to London’s dining elite since 1873, The Criterion was relaunched not long ago under new ownership, bringing renewed decor and a thrill of excitement.  The soaring gilt ceiling and the plush red velvet bar create a fine backdrop for the classic European menu made from the best seasonal ingredients.  For all this style, the menu is moderately priced and there is a super selection of wines by the glass.
Galvin La Chapelle is a terrific choice when you’re seeking superlative food and magnificent style, though in a somewhat groovier vein.  Galvin La Chapelle grabbed a clutch of ‘best restaurant’ awards last year and was awarded a Michelin star in 2011 for its modern French cuisine.  The dining room is a soaring space created from a former chapel (hence the name), now transformed into a fabulous space for dining and drinking, seeing and being seen. 
A glamorous crowd peoples sketch Gallery in Mayfair, which is a favourite with the fashion and media crowds.  The space is a video gallery during the day, then is transformed in the evenings into one of the glossiest spots in town.  The French-based menu was created by the great Pierre Gagnaire and Mourad Mazouz, and diners are encouraged to enjoy the seasonal cuisine and terrific wines and drinks until closing at 2am.
Finally, if your idea of wow requires history, carving trolleys and neckties, then Simpson’s in the Strand is for you.  This is quintessential British dining at its best: chandeliers, thick white table linens, leather chairs, views over the Strand and an absolute chariot of a carving trolley that can be parked beside your table for the finest in rare British roast beef served with all the trimmings.  It’s been this way for more than 150 years and, heaven willing, Simpson’s will be here for a few more centuries.
For those who have only experienced Jun Tanaka’s cuisine when he takes to the streets with the Streetfood van during London Restaurant Week, the first visit to Pearl, his properly indoor restaurant, must come as something of a shock, followed quickly by delight.  The decor includes curtains of pearls, breathtaking chandeliers, leather seating, impressive pillars creating a sense of occasion which the food meets and surpasses.  The cuisine is French and it is among the best in the capital.