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Le Gavroche - The Topic


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Paula,

You regularly rec'/hype LG and write your great poetry about it. Is there any disclosure (that I may have missed) about your (possible) association with LG?

SF

samantha,

you write of experiences with an increasing disconnect to my own, do I presume a poisoned association with LG? :raz:

seriously,

Paula's fondness for this place is not unique, and your import is a perhaps little harsh...

No poisoned association at all. Some parts of my experience there were very positive, but as mentioned and explained previously, I feel that the restaurant is extremely over rated and IMHO not worthy of its acreditation.

No malice intented to Paula whatsoever. But I do consider that her raptures to the place are slightly unique, and could be explained by an association.

I mean, even Gary Marshall doesn't write poetry about Anthonys! :laugh:

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In response to the above questions regarding my association to Le Gavroche:

No. I do not work at Le Gavroche or for the Rouxs.

They represent, for me, a living text book example of a modernized Escoffier/Ritz Brigade system- minus the stuffiness and extreme heavy cuisine... and beside that they are super people in general!

Having studied them years ago in school and to finally dine there, and show a heartfelt, honest interest in what they do and how they do it, was amusing to them. They have afforded me opportunities, as an outsider, to experience aspects of their kitchen and dining room as an observer. You can tell a lot about people by quiet observation. Study their nature, thier character.

We have forged a bit of a friendship.

The gentlemen at Gavroche are professionals who deal with a wide range of people an a daily basis, and are ready and waiting with an honest smile, a kind word of encouragement and masterful instruction in the proper execution of all aspects of modern Haute Cuisine, to any who display an honest desire to know.

I have never been treated with anything less than warm hospitality and respect as an individual, which I'm certain is the same treatment they deliver to each and every customer that dines there.

I respect and admire these ladies and gentlemen not only for what they do on a daily basis, but also for having done it successfully for decades, establishing the very foundation upon which nearly all fine dining in London is based.

In addition, I respect and admire the time, energy and British Pound Sterling they have all put into uplifting the Culinary Arts in Great Britain and beyond, through sheer dedication.

Sincerely,

Paula Jonvik

"...It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable..." Leopold

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  • 1 month later...

Well, well, well. Yet ANOTHER award for the gentlemen of Le Gavroche. Imagine that? Well done to them! If you think that is something- JUST WAIT! :)

"...It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable..." Leopold

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Well, well, well. Yet ANOTHER award for the gentlemen of Le Gavroche. Imagine that? Well done to them! If you think that is something- JUST WAIT! :)

Seeing this post has made me read the entire thread! I have to add my own experience of LG!

I have only been lucky enough to eat twice, and both at lunchtimes to keep the bill non scary!

On both occassions I have left feeling like the most important person in the room, without any pushy or obtrusive service. We took the bargain set lunch on both occassions (it includes wine, water and coffee, so unless you seriously hit pre and post you know what to expect about £42 each). Yes the food is not pushing the boundaries, but it displays classical French cookery (that lots of people seem to think is boring) at its best, and the cheeseboard is to die for- including French goats cheeses on sticks! I have to admit that on my first visit I had the hangover to end all hangovers (too many martinis the night before!!), and was highly embarassed that I could bearly get the wine glass to my lips. They patted my kindly on the arm, told me not to worry and topped up my water with a knowing smile.

To me the displays of warm hospitatlity and professionalism just emodies all that I love about Le Gavroche. We were certainly the youngest and definately least important people that they where looking after on both occassions, but I felt completely at ease and happy, and even though I know that is why we pay them, I was left feeling they were glad we had dined with them, in short our custom was wanted!(that can be a rare thing in this world) We could almost pretend that we lived this lifestyle every day!!

I know that I am going on and on so now I'll stop and apologise for my bad spelling after a very late night. Can't wait for my next visit in May! :biggrin::biggrin:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I went last week for my first visit and have to say i was totally impressed. Everything is as it should be, no suprises, exact cooking and exact service. Francois the sommelier looked after me very well so my bill wasn't too high, but even just for food it was as much as i've paid in London for a meal for two. But still to see how they operate it was worth the expense.

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Really enjoyed LG the other week - great value (and substantial) set lunch. The new table layout that includes the old downstairs bar was more spacious than the previous lunch time 'pack 'em in' arrangements. The food and service too were back to their best and the 'club' style atmosphere had returned. (I'd had two consecutive disappointments)

Good ole LG, I'm a big Roux family fan so its especially satisfying to once again have such a positive experience.

PS The identical twin Chef de Rang ladies were particularly friendly and efficient.

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  • 5 months later...

Magnolia + I have just had a fantastic girls' lunch here today (and you can read that both ways - fantastic girls, and fantastic lunch :rolleyes: ).

We started with a glass of pink champagne at the bar - most welcome on what had been for me at least an utterly bloody morning. Then downstairs to our banquette. Brilliant - we could see the whole room - perfect for lunching ladies.

Waiters came, waiters went - all unobtrusively - and one of them left some pre-amuses - salmon rillettes on a little wafter, and venison with honey/soy/sesame on a silver spoon - the latter particularly good.

Maggie was given the menu with the prices :laugh: !

After a brief look at what we couldn't afford, we went for the set menu for £44 per head - three courses plus coffee + PF, plus half bottle of wine + mineral water. After some horse-trading, M chose pigeon tourte with wild mushrooms then confit de cuisse de canard; I went for tian d'araignee de mer + provencal vegetables + oyster beignet, then lieu noir (pollock, apparently) with lentils + lardons. A challenge for the wine list, you'll agree. Because - bravely - we had decided to go off-roading into the real wine list.

After a little discussion with the charming sommelier Frederic Monnoyer (Maggie please correct me if I've got his name wrong), we (well, Maggie + Frederic) chose a half bottle of Trimbach 83 (£43), and a half bottle of St Denis red (again, I will let my noble wine companion fill in the blanks. She wrote the names down, which is more than I did.) Tap water please.

Oh, what is this on our plates! A fried breaded crevette in a little mound of guacamole! yum. Snarf. Bread, dip. Mmm.

The Riesling. Oh, wow. Sorry, I am no wine critic, but I could have drunk this forever. Scented + sweet on the nose, dry + with nice acidity. The crab was lagged in the waferyest bit of aubergine, topped with some frisee. All white meat. Delicious. Pigeon tourte came with tiny weeny wild mushrooms scattered round + was super-rare minced pigeon. Lovely, but perhaps a little heavy.

The lieu noir was translucent + tender - perhaps slightly too salty skin? - lots of butter in the lentils (surprise, not). Salsify too, + courgette ribbons hiding under the fish. Confit was nice but sadly not up to MobyP's standards - skin just not quite scrackly enough. Both dishes got a slosh of dark brown jus poured over after serving.

(insert red wine here. It was really good.)

M + I swapped plates half way through each course, which worked brilliantly, except that I wanted to eat all my fish, and that when I had had enough duck + there was a little left that M was going to finish, there was a tiny tussle with the waiter since we assumed he assumed we were done + was taking the plate away. Wrestle, wrestle. A bit undignified. Oh how we laughed.

Michel Roux came up to say hello to M at this point, I think (I mean, he definitely said hello, I'm just not sure when).

Long pause + then puddings. Cheese for M from the fabulous-smelling cheese trolley, and glaces + sorbets for me - which to my amazement also came on a trolley with lots of silver pots, for me to choose from. Coffee, vanilla, mango + mixed berries, thank you, all quenelled at the table. I also chose all M's cheese, "because I'm nearer the trolley so can see the labels better" (which she fell for :wink:), steering her (not so) gently towards the ones I like. Roquefort, Epoisses, a chevre, and two others (memory blurry here sorry).

At this point Frederic produced a bottle of pudding wine (have no idea what it was - from the Loire) - lovely - light, and somehow spicy - cloves? nutmeg? I was eating Roquefort like a woman possessed, meanwhile.

Oh my god, it's quarter to four - how did that happen? Quick - coffee + petits fours. Lovely macarons + physalis dipped in caramel. Would we like a digestif from the giant trolley? Oh god no, please don't make me.

And, er, finally, the bill. Super, super nicely of them, they comped us both our glasses of champagne, and the half-bottle of dessert wine. And, without us asking, because we had not had the half-bottle of wine that came with the set menu, they had reduced the set menu price from £44 to £35. Service included, we paid £184 for two. Which is expensive for lunch, maybe, but we had a truly fantastic time. At no point were we made to feel that we were inferior because we weren't suits, or because we were having the set menu. Indeed, our waiter (who must have been all of 12) was charm itself - they all were - the service was absolutely first class, and not at all stuffy. I loved it.

And tottered out blinking into the sunshine at 4.30pm. Fantastic! When was the last time you had a three-and-a-half hour lunch on a weekday?

I'm off home now to eat boiled spinach for my tea, and find the sackcloth + ashes (size large) for my Weightwatchers meeting on Monday.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Oh God. You've made me so sad that I missed it. My lunch meeting lasted until 5pm. I had a salad and a glass of wine. I spent 4 hours diplomatically telling a screenwriter that his work was crap. I did see the hot actor from Casanova though. Which helped.

Never fear Cinderella, there will be other balls...

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Agreed! Curlywurlyfi, the description of your recent meal is superbly written, and I KNOW you had a great time!

I could not have done a better job myself, and I just love to hear your well pleased tone ring out from the post!

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Sincerely,

Paula Jonvik

"...It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable..." Leopold

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  • 3 weeks later...

We came here for dinner Monday last week and I was very suprised that the restaurant stayed less than half full.

We recently had dinner at both Tom Aikens (Monday) and Gordon Ramsay RHR and both these were full to the brim.

What's the reason ?

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I would hazard a guess (and please don't jump down my throat) that as the public are becoming more food savvy they want something a little more modern both in setting and style of food.

Aikens fulfills the criteria with his contmporary food and Ramsay is just plain famous.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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These reasons sound very feasible, I wonder if Le Gavroche is worried about its less-than-full dinners, or maybe they're doing well enough to be able to stick to what they have always believed in.

As for Tom Aikens' contemporary style, a recent issue of Restaurant magazine was about Kids Food and showed a 'kids' dish on the cover which screamed 'Tom Aikens'.

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Can I suggest another reason why people might be avoiding Le Gavroche?  As someone who is (very) attracted by the food, I am equally repulsed by the dress code.

I wore jeans (but with a dress over the top, because I work in meejah), and was a fraction worried that I would be turned away.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Can I suggest another reason why people might be avoiding Le Gavroche?  As someone who is (very) attracted by the food, I am equally repulsed by the dress code.

I wore jeans (but with a dress over the top, because I work in meejah), and was a fraction worried that I would be turned away.

Right - I'll dig out my dress.

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  • 8 months later...

anyone been for lunch recently?

Booked a table for Friday. Does anyone know if they still have their lunch set menu and whether it is still £44? It seems like a very good deal

Assume a jacket is still necessary for Mr O?

really looking forward to a lazy afternoon esp after reading Fi's review - am very overdue for one

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anyone been for lunch recently?

Booked a table for Friday.  Does anyone know if they still have their lunch set menu and whether it is still £44?  It seems like a very good deal

Assume a jacket is still necessary for Mr O?

really looking forward to a lazy afternoon esp after reading Fi's review - am very overdue for one

They do still have their set lunch menu, though I suspect it might now come in at £46 rather than £44.

Jacket definitely still neccessary.

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thanks for the replies - will be a good excuse for me to bully Mr O out of his jeans and t-shirt anyway so quite pleased

£46 still seems like a great deal given the lack of 'hidden extras' - not withstanding the enormous likelihood we will both veer off track onto the ALC and full wine list :blink:

Will report back next week if anyone's interested

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£46 still seems like a great deal given the lack of 'hidden extras' - not withstanding the enormous likelihood we will both veer off track onto the ALC and full wine list  :blink:

Knock off four quid the mineral water would have cost and twelve quid the half bottle of wine would have gone for and you're at thirty quid (which is ballpark for a cheapo london haute prix fixe)... Plus I have a sneaking suspicion Gavroche is one of the few restaurants in the UK where service is compris (Manoir's the only other one I can think of. Waterside?) which if so would make it even cheaper

So not that bad a deal after all...

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I understand from previous posts that amuse, coffee, PF are included as well - didn't pick up the service thing so even better - sounds very good VFM

I will try my very hardest to stick to this lunch menu if nothing else to test out the value vs quality factor - but will not be surprised if I walk out of there a couple of hundred quid lighter - we are notoriously weak beings when food is involved

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I went for the set lunch earlier this year and I think it was £46. It was great fun - wonderful atmosphere. However, I would say that for all the haute cuisine places I've been to and had the set lunch, in my opinion le Gavroche was the one which dumbed down the cuisine the most. Crab gratin and garlic soup were two of the starters. Steak frites one of the mains. Prepared very well of course, and very tasty, but not real refined cooking. The a la carte is a different kettle of fish, so be careful of temptation!

I think the wines they select for half bottles are often bin end and accordingly at great value, and the mineral water/coffee is another great saver. However, in terms of value, I think Foliage at £32 and Aikens at £40 for 3 courses and matching glasses of wine with starter and main is probably better value in terms of the food. But like I said, I don't think they have the buzz that le Gavroche has.

Have a great time!

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