French Restaurants in London
1. Cabotte French restaurant in Bank 48 Gresham St - EC2V
“A great restaurant in the heart of the City of London” is a very rare thing, and one its adherents are happy to shout about. “Owned and run by two Master Sommeliers” – Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney – it boasts a “superb Burgundy-centric wine list”, supported by a “limited but very well cooked menu” from chef Edward Boarland, and “welcoming, unfussy service with a smile”. “It’s one of the best bets in the City and people are catching on”. Top Tip: “the amazing tarte tatin to share”.
2. Coq d’Argent French restaurant in City 1 Poultry - EC2
This “swish rooftop restaurant in the City” from D&D London is “always an impressive venue to take people, with good food and great views”. It sits at the top of No 1 Poultry, a dramatic modern building that featured in the James Bond sequence during the London Olympics opening ceremony, and has a “great outdoor space for warm evenings”. But beware: what’s “great for a good business lunch” – “mainly corporate credit cards” – can be a shock for the self-funded: “didn’t check to see if there was a set lunch… painful!”.
3. Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte Steaks & grills restaurant in City 5 Throgmorton St - EC2
“If you like steak-frites, Relais de Venise can’t be beaten”, say fans of this vieille école French steakhouse chain, where a set menu (including second helpings) of walnut salad, frites, and sliced entrecôte beef with a ‘secret’ sauce has been served in Paris since 1959. “Still a good place to eat, and I’ve been going to their restaurants for over 40 years.” A London branch opened in Marylebone 15 years ago, followed by Soho and the City. There’s a choice of desserts, with sticky toffee pudding added as a concession to les Rosbifs.
4. Club Gascon French restaurant in Clerkenwell 57 West Smithfield - EC1
An “ever-changing menu” mining the culinary delights of southwest France has kept Pascal Aussignac and Vincent Labeyrie’s Smithfield institution at the forefront of London’s dining scene for more than 20 years. Hugely influential, they pioneered the now ubiquitous small tasting plates and focus on regional cuisines. “We’ve been coming for years and are rarely disappointed” is a typical comment. They serve very well-chosen regional wines, too, and “did brilliant take-away during lockdown”.
5. Le Bar French restaurant in City 59 West Smithfield - EC1A
2018 Review: What was ‘Cellar Gascon’ next to Club Gascon has recently rebranded and re-launched with a more modish new look, serving Gascon ‘Frapas’ (French tapas) alongside ‘hand-crafted’ cocktails.
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