French Restaurants in London
. Le Gavroche
French restaurant in Mayfair
43 Upper Brook St - W1
“When everywhere else seems forced to bow to fashion and follow the latest trend, Le Gavroche sails serenely on, delighting those who appreciate the true heart and spirit of gastronomy!!” Michel Roux Jr’s Mayfair “haute cuisine temple” (here since 1982, founded by his father Albert in Chelsea in 1967) may “in some respects reflect an earlier era of fine dining”, with its “fabulous” Gallic cuisine (“superb Omelette Rothschild”, “soufflé Suissesse to die for!”…), but that merely reinforces its position as “an absolute favourite” for its massive following, who confirm that “every mouthful is a delight”. “Very warm and welcoming staff have absolutely nailed the balance in service, friendliness and knowledge” and – especially for a basement – the very “grown up” dining room is supremely “cosy, luxurious and celebratory”. “As well as top notch food, the wine list is spectacular and although there are oligarch-friendly, five-figure bottles, if you look there are some gems for those willing and able to pay more for a special wine”. And “the great man’s regular presence is one of the special things about Le Gavroche” – “Michel told us some of the history of the restaurant and really made us welcome!” A visit is a second-mortgage job, of course, but there’s a “marvellous value set lunch (even if you do have to book it three months in advance)”.
. Gauthier Soho
French restaurant in Soho
21 Romilly St - W1
“Stepping through that front door (you ring to enter) takes you into a better world” at Alexis Gauthier’s “quirky”, converted townhouse in Soho, which provides “some of the best French cooking in London”. “The cuisine achieves a masterful balance of traditional technique applied to the finest ingredients – flavour, intensity, plus beautiful presentation”; and the “empathic service” is “friendly but always professional”. The venue’s “distinctiveness continues into the maze of cosy yet elegant rooms” spread “higgledy piggledy” over a couple of floors, and “with only a few tables in each room”, the style is “peaceful” going on “seductive”. Why Michelin took their star away is an utter mystery. Top Tips – “the eight-course tasting menu is a fabulous foodie experience; the three-course De Luxe lunch is an absolute steal”; “the devoted vegan tasting menu is superb”; last but not least, “the truffle risotto is a ‘Desert Island Dish’”.
French restaurant in Shepherd's Bush
1 Wood Lane - W12
This “very buzzy wine bar and bistro” is a “breath of fresh air” in Shepherd’s Bush, with “clever, original and inexpensive food” by “the amazing Allegra (McEvedy), who is constantly popping out from the kitchen to check all is well with the world”. A refuge from the nearby Westfield shopping centre, it was set up by McEvedy’s mother in 1978, and she has retained the charming interior. There’s a “huge range of wines from Greece to Morocco, with very strong French selection”.
French restaurant in Fitzrovia
39 Whitfield St - W1T
A particularly “excellent choice of wines both by the glass and the bottle” and “seamless and friendly service” are features of this quite small (36-seat) and agreeably “unfussily decorated” Fitzrovia newcomer (on the former site of Dabbous, RIP) – no surprises, perhaps, as its patron Mathieu Germond is a former co-owner and manager of nearby Pied à Terre. When it comes to the chef Ed Dutton’s “imaginative” modern French cuisine, all reports agree results are “excellent” going on “exceptional”. (There’s also a basement bar).
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