Not sure how others feel, but there are MANY restaurants with an outstanding view, and venue, but mediocre food - often at its best. Galvin at Windows Restaurant is an exception to that - they have the view (from atop the Park Lane Hilton - 28th floor) but back that up with a lovely venue, great, attentive service AND great food.
This was our 8th visit, with some being just my wife and myself, up to board dinners for 16. Galvin does not miss a beat. This was a mini-board meeting (just part of the US contingent) and was a party of six. This presented no issues for the very professional, friendly staff.
Galvin's wine selection and service are excellent. There is very good depth, and maybe the biggest issue is having so many excellent choices. If one becomes overwhelmed by the wine list, there will be a sommelier handy to assist in the selections. Besides those choices, the staff understands serving fine wines correctly, and well. The closest thing to a problem, that I have ever encountered is that the staff expects me to want additional chilling for my big whites, and I like them warmer than probably many other patrons. Still, if that is my only complaint, it has to be very, very good.
We started with a lovely St. Joseph Blanc, that is nice find, IMHO. Less expensive than some other Rhône Blancs, it still offers great character, and was a wonderful "starter" wine. That was followed by a Puligny-Montrachet (my first choice was not available, but they had a very viable second choice for me - Vincent Girardin Vieilles Vignes). We followed up with Clos Vougeot that had enough body to stand up to the heavier mains, but was light enough to complement the fish dishes.
Each dish was served with great timing, for the entire table, and the presentations were lovely. However, the dishes did not stop there, in that each was delicious too! I had the Seared Scottish king scallops, sweet corn purée, slow cooked pork belly & shellfish reduction, and the Fillet of Cumbrian beef ‘Rossini’, foie gras & truffle (a supplement of £5). My wife went with the Marinated Loch Fyne salmon, Dorset crab, beetroot & horseradish cream for her starter and the Beef Rossini too. Looking around my table, it appeared that each diner greatly enjoyed their dishes too.
The desserts were lovely, but I opted for but a taste of my wife's Hot soufflé of spiced apple & milk chocolate, bay leaf ice cream, and then a great Cheese Course.
Reservations are almost always a must, and the attire is Business. I am not sure if a jacket is *Required* for gentlemen, but one would be most comfortable with one. There is an adjoining bar area, but its noise is well-tempered from the dining room, and comfortable conversation is very possible - unlike too many other restaurants today. One does not need a "vibe," to know that they are enjoying themselves.
Not inexpensive (by anyone's terms), we have always found it to be a great "value," and it remains very high on our London fine-dining list, right behind Gordon Ramsay's Petrus and Marcus Wareing's at the Berkeley.
Couple a lovely venue, great views, excellent service, extensive wines and delicious food, and one has a winning combination. For a romantic evening of fine-dining, it would be very difficult to beat - though this was a business dinner.