London Union co-founder Jonathan Downey immediately took to twitter to say that the “British are coming” on the news that Hawksmoor was to launch in New York, and although this may be over egging the pudding slightly, news that the Will Beckett and Huw Gott-led concept is to open Stateside does feel like a seminal moment for the UK dining scene.

To launch in the US is one thing. Taking a steakhouse to the home of the format and opening in what will be the most high-profile development in Manhattan is another. But it feels like the UK dining scene has been building up to this moment for a while.

As Gott says: “While this is obviously a big deal for us and our company, I hope it’s also a small recognition of how exciting the London restaurant industry is. I think the two cities are now on a par in terms of quality, variety and excitement.”

Many operators and commentators both here and in the US have remarked over the past 18 months on how London is close to or indeed level with what is happening in New York. The announcement by Hawksmoor underlines the confidence running through the UK dining scene, especially in the capital.

But, will it open the door for other UK brands? You could argue that Wagamama, YO! Sushi, and more recently Carluccio’s, have already been doing the hard yards in the US and the former will make its own New York debut later this year. In the food-to-go sector, Pret is making leeway, but only after a slow start. Downey himself hopes to translate London Union to the US in time, while it is thought that Living Ventures believes its cocktail bar and restaurant format, Australasia, could work across the pond. Progress, however slow, is being made.

It is fair to say that Hawksmoor is an elite brand here and I am sure the fact it is very well known internationally for its cocktails - as its bartenders tend to do very well in the global competitions - will help with raising awareness. I also wonder what role Danny Meyer may have played in Beckett and Gott heading for New York. Meyer gave a speech to the Hawksmoor staff around the time of Shake Shack’s launch here and is thought to have stayed in touch with the pair. Not a bad champion to have in the New York restaurant scene.

It will be interesting to see how many more UK concepts will start to see New York as a possible destination for expansion. For those whose interest has been piqued I would urge them to get in touch regarding M&C and Restaurant magazine’s study tour to New York this April, with a few places on the trip still remaining. There is still plenty to learn from the Big Apple.

There is plenty of admiration across the sector for Hawksmoor as a concept and how they go about their business, in terms of execution of offer and staff training. You sense this morning that that has increased. Next year will see them put a stake in the ground for the UK eating-out scene in the US’s dining capital. We should all wish them luck, I know I do.