“A large bustling Parisienne brasserie transported to the heart of London” serving recession priced french classics in a timeless environment, from the guys behind. The Wolseley and The Delauney. The reviewers literally adore this place and see it as an old school high quality option that has the potential to become a longstanding favourite in a sea of flash-in-the-pan pop ups.
Really classic french menu and unbelievably reasonable priced given the styling and service levels of the venue. My mum had beef bourgignon, which while tasty. I think if she had have been hungry would have been too small a portion by quite some way. It was served in a hearty bowl, definitely brasserie not michelin style. I had a delicious perfectly-rare onglet steak in a red wine sauce with hot crisp fluffy chips which did really remind me of France. We shared profiteroles which stole the show with the silky chocolate sauce actually being poured at the table adding a bit of excitement. Next time I went, I’d want to get my hands on the pick n mix style cheeseboard.
Ignore the ‘cafe’ bar upstairs which is more for people seeking a lunch snack I think, and the ‘american’ bar downstairs which is a bit ‘overdone’ and relatively pricey in comparison to the value-focus of the restaurant, with rude staff and no ability to transfer your tab through to your table. My mum was also disappointed by the lack of any lager on the menu there. Instead, there’s a bustling bar within the restaurant which should be your first port of call and also enables you to be called to your table whenever ready. With dinner, I had a 250ml carafe of wine which was a nice touch, although given the slimline wine menu I was disappointed that they didn’t have the chateux neuf du pape that I wanted.
The styling of the whole place is great, and it is absolutely huge – I heard the maitre-d’ telling someone they’d done over 1000 covers on Saturday night and it’s only just opened. Vibe is such that it would be equally relevant for a work dinner, date, friends or even parents in any size group. Excitingly for recently opened restaurants, you can (and should) book. The service in the restaurant was a real highlight both front of house and the super attentive waitress.
Think Cafe Rouge food (and prices) on a really good day (apparently Jay Rayner agrees!), with michelin starred service in a classic environment. A great one to bear in mind in Piccadilly where there is a dirth of restaurants that fall anywhere between high end and aberdeen angus steak house. Definitely a classic, but the food not quite as mindblowng as the reviews would suggest.
Go there if…
Don’t go there if…
You’re looking for small, cosy and romantic or daintily presented nouvelle cuisine.
If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention…
There’s a handy cloakroom if you’ve been shopping before and the food appears astoundingly quickly if you’re in a hurry.
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