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Le Gavroche - The Topic


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I am taking Mrs Winot for her birthday in a few weeks - have managed to squeeze into a 6.30pm slot which we've got till 9.30pm. It'll be the first visit for both of us.

The Time Out Guide suggested that there is a tasting menu for £95 (£150 with matched wines) but I can't see it on the web site*. Anyone know?

Otherwise, any recent visits/recommendations?

*Edit to add - just realised I was mis-reading the web site and a sample tasting menu is on there ("Menu Exceptionnal").

Edited by Winot (log)
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I was there before christmas and it was as good as always, there is definitely a tasting menu but i can't remeber the price £95 sounds about right though. I started with souffle suisse which was delicious, light and fluffy and then had John Dory with braised fennel and a sort of Bouillabaise with mussels and a rouille sauce crouton. Hse champagne is their own label and very good it was too (and reasonably priced) although they do offer a cuple by the glass. The cheese trolley is great and a sort of pineapple carpaccio and beignets for dessert was beautiful too. My friend refuses to eat any other starter apart from the scallops which she proclaims are the best in london - and the turbot sefrved on the t bone with a redwine sauce and wild mushrooms. Wine list is AMAZING and needless to say very pricy but worth it and there are plenty of 1/2 btles as well as btg if you decide not to have the wine match for the tasting menu. Have a great time

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I am taking Mrs Winot for her birthday in a few weeks - have managed to squeeze into a 6.30pm slot which we've got till 9.30pm.  It'll be the first visit for both of us.

Do they turn tables at Le Gavroche? If they do that's a shame.

I always assumed it was the sort of place that would never be so uncouth...

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I am taking Mrs Winot for her birthday in a few weeks - have managed to squeeze into a 6.30pm slot which we've got till 9.30pm.  It'll be the first visit for both of us.

Do they turn tables at Le Gavroche? If they do that's a shame.

I always assumed it was the sort of place that would never be so uncouth...

J

3hrs is better than the norm though.....

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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I am taking Mrs Winot for her birthday in a few weeks - have managed to squeeze into a 6.30pm slot which we've got till 9.30pm.  It'll be the first visit for both of us.

Do they turn tables at Le Gavroche? If they do that's a shame.

I always assumed it was the sort of place that would never be so uncouth...

J

On occasion I have been told that they want the table back on booking, but in reality they've never held me to it, but I suppose I am fairly regular. In at 7pm, leave about midnight suits me just fine. Often they tell me that they don't need it back after all once seated.

Certainly dealt with a damn sight better than Ramsay's fast food outlets.

Cheers, Howard

Edited by howardlong (log)
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I am taking Mrs Winot for her birthday in a few weeks - have managed to squeeze into a 6.30pm slot which we've got till 9.30pm.  It'll be the first visit for both of us.

Do they turn tables at Le Gavroche? If they do that's a shame.

I always assumed it was the sort of place that would never be so uncouth...

J

Only for "early" reservations (defined as those before 8pm I think).

As we have a toddler and a 4 month year old and are usually in bed by 10pm it shouldn't be a problem in our case.

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  • 4 months later...

Does anyone know if Gavroche still does their 'post theatre' deal as thinking of planning a post proms gathering there in the summer. Also if anyone has any recent reports as to what is good or not (have heard whispers of service standards falling) they would be most welcome.

Cheers.

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Also if anyone has any recent reports as to what is good or not (have heard whispers of service standards falling) they would be most welcome.

Standards falling? At the Gavroche? You have to be joking. :blink:

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  • 4 weeks later...

We went for lunch this Friday (as mentioned in the other thread, this is the more detailed review).

Started off well, got a cancelled table freeing up just an hour before. We booked for 1.30.

The lady at the entrance seemed unable to smile. At least she got my name right.

We got a table next to the kitchen, can't be too picky on such short notice. Went for the lunch menu (the lady's a la carte has no prices, but the set menu does... wonder why?). I had the asparagus salad with lardons, the canette (duck) and the lady had the seagull's egg followed by the mutton. We went for a drinkable if not so special white and the St Emilion, which was enjoyable.

The cooking was not that brilliant. I guess it is lunch, especially the end of lunch. The asparagus salad was not particularly fresh, I have had much better back home in Savoie (especially the lardons and bacon straight off the cellar!) but hey this is Mayfair, not the Alps. The duck was raw (he did ask me whether I liked it pink), with a very very nice mushroom sauce. However, the potatoes (which looked like gratin dauphinois) reminded me of what you find when you go to a motorway canteen and you get there at the end of the lunch shift - dried up, all milk/cream absorbed into the potatoes with the top layer being just crunchy, dry and salty. Not what I expected from a 2* even at lunch.

Sorbet was better.

Watching waiters argue in French (when I had been talking to them in French just a minute ago) a meter away was NOT nice. I don't care whether so and so doesn't enjoy working with so and so.

All in all not worth 2*. Most meals I've had in London have been more enjoyable, and I could eat that standard of food in many non-starred restaurants in France and indeed in Cambridge - Alimentum is better.

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  • 4 months later...

At the end of last week, I went for another meal here.

Before that, I had last been in July and came away very impressed. This time was even better.

Food was great; full of Le Gavroche staples - think Soufflé Suissesse, Omelette Rothschild - and classic French dishes like La Lièvre à la Royale.

New maître d'hôtel, Emmanuel Landré, is simply sensational.

Le Garoche report

This is, now, firmly my favourite restaurant in London.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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  • 5 months later...

Anyone been here recently as am going next Friday and wondered if there was anything that is a must have on the menu at the moment? (Am going to try and have something other than soufles suisse and the lobster for a change...). Cheers.

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Anyone been here recently as am going next Friday and wondered if there was anything that is a must have on the menu at the moment? (Am going to try and have something other than soufles suisse and the lobster for a change...). Cheers.

I've been a semi-regular visitor over the last year for their superlative lunch deal (much-discussed elsewhere) and although this seems to change daily I assume the a la carte has it's "set in stone" dishes (or at least those that remain permanent throughout a season)?

Not that it will help you much but everything we ate on the last lunch menu was excellent. That said the stand-out was a mushroom souffle with an artfully concealed quail's egg. Just the most intense, creamy, billowy thing and though simple it lives long in the memory.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Anyone been here recently as am going next Friday and wondered if there was anything that is a must have on the menu at the moment? (Am going to try and have something other than soufles suisse and the lobster for a change...). Cheers.

The Pyrenees Lamb on the Menu Exceptionel is on at this time of year. Tucking in to a cheeky mini Souflee Suissese in between a couple of courses is always a net giga-calorie asset and is difficult to turn down.

Not sure if it's on at the moment, but again at this time of year they do a Serrano Ham, Asparagus and Parmesan thingy. A bitch to match wine with (either an Oloroso sherry or even better a slightly madeirised champagne work the best). One of my favourite dishes.

H

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  • 1 month later...

Le Gavroche for lunch on Wednesday. Shown into a corner table next to two rather eccentric (and culturally insular) old gents. Good buzz about the place.

The wife kicked off with asparagus w/ veal crisps, frresh and tasty, while I went for mullet on fruit and herb flecked rice, whcih was full of savour and delicious. I then had rabbit and mustard sauce, simple yet tasty, while the wife had guinea fowl with Nicoise stuffing, which really was delicious - you can tell they spend a lot of time on the reductions etc. She finished with a chocolate parfait, I went for the cheeseboard.

The food was all great, as you would expect. What struck me was the generosity of the lunch offer. Two rounds of canapes, full pick of the cheeseboard on the set lunch deal (was expecting a couple of slices of their choosing), great wine, coffee refills and plenty of petits fours.

Service was fine, but slightly impersonal I thought. They were busy, but a bit more personality in the service would not go amiss.

Anyway, really enjoyed the lunch (in there for 3 hours) definitely want to repeat the experience!

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Le Gavroche for lunch on Wednesday. Shown into a corner table next to two rather eccentric (and culturally insular) old gents. Good buzz about the place.

The wife kicked off with asparagus w/ veal crisps, frresh and tasty, while I went for mullet on fruit and herb flecked rice, whcih was full of savour and delicious. I then had rabbit and mustard sauce, simple yet tasty, while the wife had guinea fowl with Nicoise stuffing, which really was delicious - you can tell they spend a lot of time on the reductions etc. She finished with a chocolate parfait, I went for the cheeseboard.

The food was all great, as you would expect. What struck me was the generosity of the lunch offer. Two rounds of canapes, full pick of the cheeseboard on the set lunch deal (was expecting a couple of slices of their choosing), great wine, coffee refills and plenty of petits fours.

Service was fine, but slightly impersonal I thought. They were busy, but a bit more personality in the service would not go amiss.

Anyway, really enjoyed the lunch (in there for 3 hours) definitely want to repeat the experience!

That sounds great, not been for years, its easy to forget about Le Gav, but I just got to visit again, real soon.

Three hours sounds like a whole load of fun :biggrin:

And generosity never goes a miss :biggrin:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Very much looking forward to returning here for dinner in August.

The one thing I am not looking forward to is wearing a jacket throughout dinner, especially if it's a sweltering hot day. But then there's always champagne to be had to cool oneself down.

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Ok, I have a not-eating-at-Le-Gavroche story which is though still relevent to this thread, so bear with me:

I finished a meeting at Westminster yesterday at about 3pm and getting the tube back across town to Euston I decided to jump ship at Green Park. I'd missed lunch and getting the train back to Manchester before 6:30pm costs an extra £125 (peak time pricing malarky) meaning it woud actually be cheaper (important in these credit-crunched times) to stay on in London with a newspaper and a fine lunch and while away a few hours.

I nearly veered into The Wolesley again but I had a hankering for the cossetting of Le Gavroche. I had a feeling the kitchen about generally shut down around 3pm (though previous lunches have lasted till nearer 4pm) before reopening for dinner, but a quick phonecall to their front desk on an ear-splittingly noisy Piccadilly seemed to confirm there might be a chance - if I snuck in for a quick one/two courses and a glass of wine.

There wasn't. Big misunderstanding and much apologies from Emanuelle's number two. The kitchen was shut. I thought it sounded too good to be true.

I was hungry, so ended up in nearby Maze where I'd had a decent lunch once before. Maze itself had stopped serving but Maze Grill had it's all day menu running. Great.

Lovely room, a place setting for one at a swish banquette, and a limited but very eatable menu. I ended up going for the Caesar salad - passable though the "butter poached" chicken was too dry as it was effectively pan fried in strips instead of being sliced as a cooked breast, superlative quail's eggs though, a firm white cup with a creamily liquid yolk; and followed up with a bitter chocolate brownie with bitter chocolate ice cream - too sickly, too sweet, and devoid of any bitterness. This all went down with a glass of Bourgogne Blanc and a decent coffee with four cookies (which I couldn't eat after the sickly dessert. Oh, and a bottle of Badoit.

Total bill? £40. The crux of this story is quite how wonderful the Le Gavroche lunch deal is. There I would have got the main course and the dessert, and the water and wine, albeit a half bottle of superior stuff rather than a measly 175ml, and the coffee would have come with proper petit four.

In addition I would have had a starter, and overall been offered a much more interesting menu which offered much superior cooking. Oh, and all the bread I could eat. And at least one or two plates of canapes/amuse bouche. And maybe an extra course or two, or maybe a brandy or glass of champagne if they were feeling generous.

All this, for an extra £8...

Needless to say I wished my meeting had finished on time at 2pm as was originally planned. I got my train back to Manchester feeling full, but also hollow inside.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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  • 2 months later...

Very much looking forward to returning here for dinner in August.

Bapi, I have you been yet?

What was the munch offers?

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Le Gavroche for lunch on Wednesday.

The food was all great, as you would expect. What struck me was the generosity of the lunch offer. Two rounds of canapes, full pick of the cheeseboard on the set lunch deal (was expecting a couple of slices of their choosing), great wine, coffee refills and plenty of petits fours.

Service was fine, but slightly impersonal I thought. They were busy, but a bit more personality in the service would not go amiss.

Anyway, really enjoyed the lunch (in there for 3 hours) definitely want to repeat the experience!

A rather special lunch there a few days ago - my wife's [age removed on legal advice]th birthday meal with our daughters aged 5 and 7.

The food WAS good.

Three amuse bouches - tiny roulades of salmon, morsels of smoked eel with a green (pea?) puree, and finally a mouthful of rabbit rilette with truffle.

Then the adults both had seafood soup followed by monkfish, sauce beurre rouge & baby samphire; I finished with a selection from the amazing cheeseboard and my wife with ice cream.

The seafood soup was rich, but its creaminess was cut through with acidity from white wine, lemon or both so that the balance was perfect. Really fresh squid, prawn and cockles lurked below the surface.

The monkfish was fine, although perhaps two buttery/creamy dishes in a row was a little unbalanced and we would have done better to have started with tartare of dorade. We waited while the childrens's chicken was cut up, by which time the monkfish was rather cold - I think that perhaps it wasn't quite hot enough when it arrived at the table. However, both the sauce and the samphire were perfect.

We drank champagne (£12 a glass), a bottle of Leon Bayer Pinot Blanc from Alsace, one of the four wines with the lunch menu, and my wife had some sweet wine I didn't get to try (£9 a glass).

At £48 a head for amuse bouches, three courses, wine, water, bread, coffee and petit fours, the adult lunch was really good value, and despite it being a Wednesday in mid-August the place was very busy.

The waiters suggested that the children went a la carte, and they both had chicken breast with shallot sauce (£15 each) followed by ice cream (£12 each, which I thought was a bit steep). My younger daughter Miranda is allergic to egg and there was only one ice cream or sorbet (banana ice cream) which was egg free; she didn't like it, so they brought her a little fruit salad instead.

Service was utterly charming, with a sommelier who looked young enough still to be at school but who was really knew her subject.

The children were made particularly welcome; contrary to popular belief, my own experience in London since having children has been that the the smarter the restaurant, the more welcome (fairly) well behaved small children usually are. Michel Roux was doing his rounds and Miranda wanted to shake hands with him; he said "I don't shake hands with little girls" and kissed her and her sister (but not my wife...) instead.

I hadn't been to Le Gavroche for about a decade, and found it as special as I remembered; my wife had never been before, and loved it.

If I were to nit-pick, I would say that on previous visits I had found the service to be some of the best I have ever experienced, but this time, while it was both friendly and professional, there were a couple of serious mistakes. We had emphasised on booking, on arrival AND on ordering that Miranda was allergic to both egg and nuts, but the potato croquettes with her chicken were dipped in egg and she was offered walnut bread. Either of these errors could have led to the lunch ending up with an epi-pen injection and a rush to hospital. The walnut bread was easy to spot, but only my wife's unvarying practice of checking everything the child eats let us avoid a crisis with the croquettes.

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Myself and the t'other half had the menu exceptional about a month ago, and it was absolutely faultless. We had:

Steak tartare with truffle and quail eggs with celeriac rumalade - amuse

Salmon mi-cuit with asparagus and truffle dressing

Souffle Suicisse

Scallops baked in the shell with ginger and carrot

Sea bass with garlic crouton and black olives

Hot fois gras with a pastilla of duck

Lamb chop with courgette fritter

Cheese

Banana and strawberry parfait

bon bons & huge selection of petit fours

The absolute standouts were the scallop and the duck, but the food was the best I've ever had. Service was exceptional, wines were fantastic, my only quibble is the strong smelling flowers in the room, to which my better half was struggling with. A request to move away from them was dealt with promptly and friendly.

My favorite restaurant to date.

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