Hidden away in a cute Marylebone back street, an airy brasserie – with notably comfortable bar – that tries to disown the parentage of the hotel to which it is connected; a relatively straightforward menu is offered, trumpeting its use of the quality ingedients available locally, but realisation on our visit just missed the mark.
Treking through the back streets of foodie Marylebone, we’ve quite often been tempted to pop in to this appealing-looking bar/brasserie. Somehow we’ve never quite summoned up the energy to go in, but a handily-timed trip to our dentist nearby offered an opportunity to check the place out for a quick lunch (our taste buds, incidentally, unsullied by anaesthetic).
We were early for service, and the deep leather armchairs of the airy bar proved a pleasant place to while away a few minutes with the (provided) newspapers. In fact, it makes quite a nice place to eat as well, at quiet times, which is what we did.
The (pre-printed) à la carte menu makes much of its use of produce from the fashionable local shops: cheeses from La Fromagerie, meat from Ginger Pig, and so on. Despite some good crusty bread to start, however, realisition of our lunch left us feeling just a little short-changed.
There’s no point in buying the liver from Ginger Pig if you cook it gray when it’s ordered medium-rare, which is what happened to us. Perhaps we should have just sent it back (but we Puritans abhor waste). Beforehand, a green bean and (nicely-timed) quail’s egg salad had been pleasant enough, if perhaps a touch vigorously dressed, but the chococolate mousse afterwards sat rather heavily on the stomach.
This was, then, a pretty average meal overall: what you might unkindly describe as an hotel coffee shop sort of meal. Not actively bad, though (if you leave the liver out of account), so should it get the benefit of any doubt?
Well, the bill came to around £45 (including two glasses of wine and an espresso, plus tip). For this same price we had eaten extremely well from the lunchtime menu at Murano, Gordon Ramsay’s new gaff in Mayfair. Hmm.