Villandry - (another) wonderful French-med mix

Villandry St James' is just a mere 20 steps from my office front door. Perfect for a spot of lunch and even better when I can meet my Mr D there for an hour's quick feasting...

Sitting beautifully at the bottom of Waterloo Place, the moment you walk in you're transported across the channel and into a high end French brasserie.

To the left, there's an informal Cafe and on the right a more formal dining area which is where we were seated. Wonderful staff greeted us promptly and sat us in one of their banquettes.

The menu reads very well (a mix of different Mediterranean dishes) and I wanted everything I read. Crab salads, ceviche, salmon..the list goes on. Mr D and I both went for squid in two different ways. 

His, salt and pepper with tartar sauce...

Mine, spices with fresh chillies and a wonderful harissa mayo. mmmmmm...

Both dishes were excellently done, so much so that the salt and pepper was one of the best variations we both have had recently. Light, crisp and just the right amount.  

Seemingly my mind was not after a light lunch today I chose the Saffron risotto with scallops and a side of Aspen fries to share with Mr D...

Risotto was cooked al dente (perfect) and was wonderfully rich and flavoursome with the added parsley and chives. Three plump and juicy scallops finished the dish off leaving me thoroughly happy with my choice.

The fries were crisp and yet fluffy within.... tossed generously with truffle oil (but not over powering) and finished off with a grating of parmesan - yum!!! I think I had my fair share of these and literally could not stop eating even though incredibly full... super scrummy!

Mr D opted for the Fresh Taglitelle with Wild Mushrooms and jus. I has a good mouthful of this and it was delicious. Super garlic-y it really showcased how a few simple ingredients, executed well, can make a really wonderful and pleasing dish. 

Villandry is a perfect lunch spot for us working souls, it's even better (I think) for anyone wanting to get out of the hellish hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus as it's a lovely, tranquil setting in a very pretty spot of London that you may not otherwise venture towards. Excellent food and charming staff - a must.

A: 12 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AU (There are other locations)
T: 020 3544 0682

Villandry St James's on Urbanspoon

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Roux at the Landau

So, my (soon to be) brother-in-law is a dab hand with food. He works at Albert and Michel Roux's 'Roux at the Landau' which is nestled in a beautiful dining room at the infamous Langham Hotel, Mr D and I popped in to see him last night for a date night to FINALLY celebrate our home!

Although this will be somewhat of a biased review, I, much like his mum, think's he is the bees knees as a chef and for a big guy Jamie, Head chef Chris King, Oli and the rest of the kitchen cook some of the most de-licious, refined food and delicately plate up their labours looking as pretty as a picture. 

The Landau dining room is stunning, vast and grand. If you get there early, in fact, I INSIST you do. Head to the world famous Artesian Bar in the hotel, even at 6pm on a Wednesday the room was flying high with atmosphere and happy customers. The mixologists there are simply mesmerising and the way they serve up their cocktails is both innovative and just beautiful. On this occasion however, I had a very simple, but refreshing, prosecco.

The entrance to the restaurant is quite dramatic. A hallway showcasing some of the most exquisite wines they have to offer...

This is a restaurant for fine dining and you certainly feel special here. Intimate booths are cleverly positioned so that you feel completely on your own whilst wait staff quietly buzz around you. The restaurant is well known amongst critics for it's excellent service and you definitely notice this when dining at a Roux establishment.

Jamie kindly served up a mini tasting menu so we could taste as much of the kitchens fabulous skills as possible. Thus making this an even better blog as you lucky people get to see lots of the incredible food...

A fantastic selection of in house made bread is presented... I went for the white bread, fig roll.  

We kicked off our feast with scallop with raisins and capers. An incredibly plump, well cooked scallop went perfectly well with the sweet 'sauce' that accompanied. 

Foie gras on a savoury scone, cherries and a sweet jus. 

Mackerel for me, with beetroot and what I think were bits of fried Serrano ham - amazing

Guinea foul, truffle and boudin blanc for Mr D...

Followed by a rather scrumptious rabbit 'pie' for Mr D...

And a perfect Halibut and delicate hand made pasta 'bows' 

Pudding was next up (thankfully as I was near to popping!)

Refreshing panna cotta, as a palate cleanser for the two of us...

Followed by some breath taking(ly) beautiful desserts...

Caramel choux bun (I think!!)- one of those 'oh my god' moments with every mouthful, just incredible!

And the prettiest chocolate millefeuille - wow! Heaven on a plate... there's one thing they never fault on - their puds...

 Petite fours...

And finally... our night caps... (not needed as we paired wine with each course!!)

Although I may be biased, Roux at the Landau is so, SO special. We've enjoyed everyone of our meals there and it has (somehow!) managed to get better and better every time. 

The front of house team are so accommodating (Franco is wonderful!) and we cannot forget the kitchen never faltering to amaze us - thank you.

Cost: Minimum £70pp without pairing wines.
Add: 1 Portland Pl, London, UK 
Phone: (020) 7965 0165 reservations recommended.

 Roux at The Landau on Urbanspoon

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