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Le Gavroche - The Topic


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Folks

I had the 48 quid lunch deal with my work collegues about ten days ago, and dinner (menu exceptionnel+wine flight) on Saturday with a couple of friends of mine.

Both good, but I must say that the 48 quid including a half bottle of wine each and as much bottled water as you can take is an absolute bargain. Although perhaps the ingredients are less expensive, in all other aspect the set lunch is definitely no cut down offering.

My menu exceptionel was the same as kutsu's except for the amuse bouche.

I'm interested in the comments about service aberrations. It's been almost a year since Silvano left, and I've been probably six or seven times since then. I can't honestly say I've seen any reduction in the attention to detail except once about eight months ago or so, when an assistant sommelier was so slap dash it was unbelievable, with the screw tops of water bottles flying about and the water itself barely making it into the glasses, slopping over onto the table cloth - shocking really.

Anyway, the abhorrent sommelier is not there anymore, and my work colleagues and friends uniformly loved it.

Cheers, Howard

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  • 1 month later...

I looked at the 5 Michelin guides for the years 2005 - 2009 and I was surprised to see that they list the same 3 dishes each year. I expected the guides to vary the list each year, as they do for the other restaurants.

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They are :-

Hot Foie Gras and Crispy Pancake of Duck Flavoured with Cinnamon

Roast Saddle of Rabbit with Crispy Potatoes and Parmesan

Bitter Chocolate and Praline Indulgence

I would have thought that other dishes such as the Souffle Suissesse and the Omelette Rothschild might get a mention some time !

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Went in for the lunch menu yesterday - managed to bag a last minute cancellation.

Absolutely exquisite cooking as always. On the menu was a whole roast partridge too, which I wouldn't have expected to see on a lunch deal.

Gregg Wallace was in there. Unfortunately, I wasn't close enough to eavesdrop, but we were entertained by imagining his critique of Michel's food. "Phhhrrwwoooaaaarrr, that haddock gratin is delicious. I would happily have a bath in that. The smokiness just comes through and the sauce is balanced perfectly by the citrusy lemon, with a touch of sweetness from the leeks. NIIiiiiice. You can cook, Michel." Grrrrrrrrrr.

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Out of curiosity why wouldn't you expect to see a whole partridge on the menu? They are only £3.50 - £4.00 a bird (and that was at Borough Market) so wouldn't it seem a reasonably sensible thing to serve?

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

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Game is cheap. Partridges can be bought for £2 at gamedealers out in the sticks, pheasants for £2.50. If you know a friendly gamekeeper I'm sure you could buy for less.

Grouse was recently on the lunch menu at Roussillon. I buy young oven ready birds transported down from Yorkshire for £5.50.

Until the new Lord Salisbury took over, Hatfield House (local to me)were burying the pheasants shot on their estate. Game birds are simply a by product of the sport of shooting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A long with Arbutus, am at La Gavroche for the lunch deal, aiming for the Souffle Suisse anything else I should have, add or supplement? Pointers please.

“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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Weirdly i had dinner in Arbutus on Thursday, and would have had an indulgent solo lunch at Le Gavroche but was denied as they had a private event on (probably some of those arty Frieze lot...). Great minds think alike it seems (The Wolseley sufficed for me in the end).

I've done the lunch deal at Le Gavroche a good few times and although I've had some divine souffles there I dont think I've even seen the Suisse version. In fact am I right in thinking it's one of their signature dishes in which case it's unlikely it'll ever make the leap to their cheapy menu.

The lunch deal is a simple three choices per three courses affair, and to be honest it seems to change so completely and so regularly that if that is what you are specifically going for its more or less impossible to make predictions, let alone recommendations.

That said whatever you eat i think you'll have a spectacular lunch (and go for the ice creams and sorbets for dessert, worth it for the trolly-theatre alone!).

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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Soufflé Suissesse is a cheese soufflé made with lashings of double cream and aged gruyere, perfectly seasoned with more than a hint of black pepper. I have had it slid in as a cheeky tasting-sized mid-course on occasion when going ALC. It frequently appears on the Menu Exceptionnel. I am sure that they would do the same with the set lunch for a tenner or so each.

Stunningly good for vegetarians, but a disaster for the lactose intolerant. To re-coin a phrase, if you have to know the calories, you shouldn't be eating it.

Cheers, Howard

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That was one of the (many) things I greatly appreciated about Le Gavroche, that they allow you to replace set menu courses with dishes from the carte. Sure, they charge you a supplement, but these are modest, and it is definitely worth it to sample their signature dishes if you are only passing by London like I was.

Howard, you are spot on with the Soufflé Suissesse supplement - 11.99 on my tax invoice.

Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink
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Well I've not eaten anywhere before whose clientele made me want to form my own Red Army Faction.

Nor endured variations of old raspberry nosed Sir Tuftons out-louding the throat-clearings of varicose-faced Lady Buftons.

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Foie gras & chicken mousse

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octopus salad

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butternut squash soup with Jamon

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Roast beef celeriac puree, red wine sauce

damn fine collection of cheese all in great condition

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forme d'ambert, brillat savarin, langres & vacherin. Toasted raisin bread.

L1020085.JPGL1020084.JPG

The petite fours were the only thing that were a bit rubbish.

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I then went on to watch Christopher Hitchens & Stephen Fry traduce Ann Widdecombe & a hopeless Nigerian Bishop in debate.

What a great day out. :laugh:

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Edited by adey73 (log)

“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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Well I've not eaten anywhere before whose clientele made me want to form my own Red Army Faction.

Nor endured variations of old raspberry nosed Sir Tuftons out-louding the throat-clearings of varicose-faced Lady Buftons.

LOL! It's a bit like that. I get invites to their awesome food and wine matching evenings (think: Ch. d'Yquem, Cheval Blanc, everyday drinking stuff, you know how it is). Judging by the guest list on those occasions where seating is allocated, the Upper House most certainly does not sit on those nights.

Here are a couple of recent menus to wet yer whistles...

L E M E N U

CANAPES

*****

SAUMON ET JAMBON ‘PATA-NEGRA’ EN GELEE,

JUS DE TRUFFES

*****

FILET DE ROUGET GRILLE ET TOAST

A LA MOELLE

*****

RIS ET LANGUE DE VEAU,

CEPES ET JUS AU RAIFORT

*****

FILET DE BŒUF A L’OS,

ECHALOTES CONFITES ET MORILLES A LA CREME PETIT

*****

SOUFFLE SUISSESSE

*****

CAFE ET PETITS FOURS

L E S V I N S

ROEDERER BRUT VINTAGE 2000

Magnum

RESERVE DE LA COMTESSE

2004 & 1999 en Magnum

CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE

COMTESSE DE LALANDE

2003

RESERVE DE LA COMTESSE

2001

CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE

COMTESSE DE LALANDE

2004 & 2001

CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE

COMTESSE DE LALANDE

1983 & 1995

CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE

COMTESSE DE LALANDE

1995 & 1975

**********************************

L E M E N U

CANAPES

*****

RAGOUT DE LANGOUSTINES ET COQUILLES ST. JACQUES

PARFUMES AU GINGEMBRE

*****

ESCALOPE DE FOIE GRAS DE CANARD

AUX RAISINS CONFITS ET COMPOTE DE COINGS

*****

ASSIETTE D’AGNEAU DE LAIT DES PYRENEES,

JUS BRUN DE ROTI,

POMMES FONDANTE ET PETITS LEGUMES

*****

ROQUEFORT ET FOURME D’AMBERT

*****

MILLE-FEUILLE AUX POIRES,

SAUCE CARAMEL AU BEURRE SALE ET PISTACHES

*****

CAFE ET PETITS FOURS

L E S V I N S

TAITTINGER “COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE” 1995

Brut, Blanc de Blancs

Y d’YQUEM

2000

CHATEAU D’YQUEM

2003 & 2001

CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC

1989 & 1999

CHATEAU D’YQUEM

1989 & 1983 & 1981 en Magnum

Cheers, Howard

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Game is cheap. Partridges can be bought for £2 at gamedealers out in the sticks, pheasants for £2.50. If you know a friendly gamekeeper I'm sure you could buy for less.

Grouse was recently on the lunch menu at Roussillon. I buy young oven ready birds transported down from Yorkshire for £5.50.

Until the new Lord Salisbury took over, Hatfield House (local to me)were burying the pheasants shot on their estate. Game birds are simply a by product of the sport of shooting.

A good point. Similarly you'll find that many reservoir trout fisheries that have competitive matches, often end up binning the catches! Once you have a freezer full of the things the novelty wears off. I remember having a chat with the co-owner of Stocks in Clithero about it, and trying to work out if I could make some money picking up the trout and flogging them to restaurants in the area. Line caught you know... :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a very good lunch at Le Gavroche a couple of Thursdays ago. The lunch deal at £48.60 is great value and having read that a deviation from set menu to alc was possible for a small supplement was most helpful.

We ate lobster bahji & pork rillettes as canapés and for amuse a single crisp tempura prawn with pineapple chutney.

Starters were dodine of duck with pistachios and fig chutney and oeuf poche a la reine. The third option was langoustine veloute with scallops which we passed on as we breakfasted on scallops at borough market!!

The duck was good but the egg even better, served atop a hollowed brioche stuffed with chicken and morsels of foie gras with the added bonus of large slices of truffle.

Mains comprised of carbonnade of beef cheek with potato puree and from the alc, a veal sweetbread with artichoke and carrots (supplement £14 if I remember correctly). I chose the veal as I did not fancy fillet of roussette, or guinea fowl and the beef was a little too similar to the oxtail dish I had in L’Ortolan the day before (guinea fowl also featured at L'Ortolan - which was very good too).

We shared a very generous portion of great cheese and a mind bogglingly sweet omelette soufflé aux pruneaux with armagnac.

Good coffee and petit fours rounded things off nicely.

We washed this down with a glass each of champagne and a half bottle of pinot blanc and a half of cotes de Bordeaux and a bottle of water.

This was my first visit and I had a very jolly couple of hours. I enjoyed the food more than a dinner at the waterside inn a few years ago, although the style was similar. Service was slick but welcoming and friendly. Michel Roux Jr said hello as he did his rounds, chatting to most tables as he went. I don’t get to London more than once or twice a year so I tend not to go back to the same place twice but I can imagine returning here sooner rather than later.

Cheers - Martin.

Martin

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  • 2 weeks later...

...and a mind bogglingly sweet omelette soufflé aux pruneaux with armagnac.

...Michel Roux Jr said hello as he did his rounds, chatting to most tables as he went...

If it's the same I had about three weeks ago, I believe that the omelette is thelr signature Omelette Rothschild 'adulterated' with the prunes. A joy to watch being made, just don't tell the food nazis about all that clarified butter.

The fact that Michel wonders around the tables always impresses me in these days of restaurants that name themselves after chefs who would have trouble remebering their way past the front desk.

Cheers, Howard

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  • 4 weeks later...

Had a surprisingly good meal here a few weeks back. Save for one horribly bad dish (the only "Modern-Asian" one), we had a pretty strong meal. Apart from slightly overcooking a pheasant breast, I can see why they have 2*. MOre would be a little too generous on Mr. Bibendum's side, but the whole thing seemed like a good 2* experience. As many others, I believe that £48,60 lunch deal to be very good for what you get, and worth a try.

Here's the write-up.

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  • 1 month later...

Self to daughter this morning:

"What would you like to do for your birthday on Thursday, darling?"

Daughter:

"I would like to have lunch at Le Gavroche, please, daddy."

She is five. Five. What have we done to deserve this?

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She can be mini-PSB's friend - (aged 10) he likes good restaurants for birthday treats too, though am not sure he was keen when he was 5. I love seeing children in good restaurants. IME they are well-behaved, and it's important that they learn about really good food, and restaurants, and the pleasure they give.

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My 10 year old loves to eat out!! She did a 16 course tasting menu at Tragabuche (sp?) at age 7. Asked what her favourite fish was recently, she replied Turbot!! Perhaps we need a mini-egullet membership!!

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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My main dining partner for many years has been my eldest daughter who I have referred to time and time again as the "Kid Critic", who has been to dozens upon dozens of starred joints, L'Enclume, Sat Bains, Juniper, St John, Le Bristol, Commerc 24 etc etc. She has always received great praise on her behaviour which reinforces her behaviour, which recieves further praise, which makes me spend more, which reinforces praise etc etc. In fact quite a few take her in the kitchen and give her a go at cooking.

In fact she was thinking of setting up a website based on her experiences called "The Kid Critic".

Based on such good behaviour my youngest who has turned three has been to Juniper, Northcote, Stagg Inn, Arbutus, and just this weekend to the Box Tree. Again received good feedback on her behaviour, which encourages us further.

I have never experienced any critiscism or negatively from staff or fellow diners, but then again both their parents are Psychologists with expertise in behaviour modification !!!

Worried this is going to be getting into a competitive parents post :-)

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