|Borrowed from the times website...|
French brasseries recently have been opening their doors in London like an advent calender in December. Brasserie Chavot is the latest 'buzz' in the restaurant world due to its owner Eric Chavot being a) actually French and b) hailed as the 'best in London' by many. As a previous 2 Michelin star winner at The Capital (they lost the starts when he left...) his restaurant comes with high expectations, and last night Mr D and I got to sample what all the fuss is about.
In a fantastic location, smack bang in the middle of Conduit Street, you enter a beautifully opulent and grand room we were seated at out banquet table and ordered a glass of the Pink English sparkling wine - delicious!
The room is impressive, not OTT at all, beautiful Mosaic floor, which plays a part to the design of the menu and business cards. Then centrally, there are several statement chandeliers, around 50 or so tables and moody lighting, thus making the room out to be far more of a special dining experience than that of Zedel and Balthazar's vast cavernous rooms.
The wine menu serves up perfectly priced carafe's of wine, and as this was a Wednesday we ordered a red to sip with our meal which was ample for an evening when one doesn't want to enforce a hangover!
We had an appetiser of the 5J pure Ibérico de Bellota ham (no photo) as recommended by our (very) attentive waitress. Which came with a lovely tomato and basil 'topping' to create your own bruschetta on perfectly charred bread. This was a great start to the meal and a good nibble to have whilst we had the task of what we were going to choose.
Mr D ordered to start, the Snails bourguignon, meatball and potato espuma. Underneath possibly the smoothest potato purée I have ever come across, was a deliciously sweet and thick tomato sauce filled with numerous tiny meatballs and succulent snails. Their signarture dish and one I don't think Mr D was disappointed with.
My starter was a special of the day, Scallops with asparagus. This was small but superb, I am not 100% sure what was on top of my scallops but they tasted like very small lardons and went well with the whole meal giving it a good 'crunch factor'.
Next up, mains:
After toying with the menu and 2 items in particular I settled for the 'filet de Canette a l'orange, caramelised endives' (my other option was the prawns with chickpeas and chorizo). A sweet orangy syrup and carrot puree off set the succulent duckling and the endives giving a bitter kick, so rounding off the plate perfectly. Definitely in need of some sides though which we, of course, ordered...
As sides we ordered some (very good) chips, enough for 2 people FYI, and some yummy garlicky beans...
Date night treat - Baba au rhum with creme fraiche Chantilly. OH-MY-GOD good, well worth the extra calories and big enough to share (as we did)... The yellow ribbons are in fact paper thin slices of fresh pineapple. The cake, soaked in sticky, sweet rum syrup and was still a perfectly light fluffy sponge - it literally took me back to the original rum cake from The Cayman Islands we had at Christmas(thank you Miss Cook), I just wish I was on that hot little Island! The light-as-air Chantilly cream was a lovely addition to an already perfect pud - a definite to try.
Contrary to many posts we experienced fantastic service, however this may be due to the fact that we were there for a 6:30 seating (I LOVE an early supper,) so therefore the restaurant wasn't in 'full swing'. I highly recommend going around 7:30 as the atmosphere goes up a notch and the lights get dimmed - ooooohhh.
A great parent place for those whom have out-of-towners like me. Great food, fabby venue and excellent location.
|Brasserie Chavot, 41 Conduit St London W1S 2YF - |