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french brasserie in the city


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i'm in need of some thoughts for city dining, I'm fed up of paying up for poor food and indifferent service in the likes of coq d argent, prism, lombard st etc. Are there any decent  brasserie type operations in the heart of the city that i should be patronising?

you don't win friends with salad

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Nothing really springs to mind. Off top of my head One Blossom Street (run by a nico old boy) near Liverpool Street. Don't know if the Brasserie Rocque on the Broadgate Circle is any kop at all. Cafe du Marche in Charterhouse Sq is just out of cityland but has a //very// french ambience (food only ok, alas - wrote it up here in march).

bleeding heart perhaps? (although lawyerland really)

other than that the cupboard seems somewhat bare. errr, steak hachee a la mcdonalds anyone?

cheerio

j

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Jon -- Which part of Bleeding Heart are you referring to? There are potentially at least three areas that one might dine at (incl. an informal bar area and the more formal restaurant, which is not that formal in absolute terms).

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I second One Blosson Street - especially if summer ever arrives and the outside terrace/courtyard opens.

I went to Moro the other day, which although not a brasserie, had a great lunchtime atmosphere, and pretty good food to boot.

Another place to mention is The Peasant on St John Street. Don't let the upstairs of a pub thing put you off. :wink:

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I've not been there but I've heard very good things about The Don which has a fine dining restaurant but also a more informal brasserie type section. I think it's in St. Swithin's Lane. I keep meaning to try it. Post about it if you go.

Not a French brasserie but right on the edge of the city,near Aldgate is Adriatico-a modern Italian which is moderately priced and which features Stinco de Porco (marinated and slow cooked pork shank) on the menu.

Fay Maschler has just favourably written up Aurora-one of the restaurants at The Great Eastern Hotel by Liverpool St. station.

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Eyre Brothers very good, at least it was the last time I went there which was a few months ago. Real food and a thousand times better than any of those horror Conran establishments dotted about city. Slick and glamorous in a low key way, excellent dishes from head chef David Eyre, formerly of The Eagle. Do try it!

Eyre Bros, 70 Leonard Street EC2. 020 7613 5346.

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Whoops! Gary, I'm having a Monday afternoon meltdown and somehow did not factor in that you requested a French brasserie and I have recommended an Iberian-y-ish inspired restaurant. Sorry! But its very good anyway. Now, time for my medication.

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If your City-tethered leash extends as far as Moro, there's always the Quality Chop House round the corner, which has a kind of mockney-cum-brasserie thing going -- jellied eels, but also oysters, steak tartare, confit of duck, and suchlike.

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I would second the Peasant although it is more italian brasserie than french...on the other hand just forget French and go japanese at K10, 20 Copthall Ave, just off London Wall - my favourite for a good lunch especially the seaweed wrapped crab and avocado.

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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If you are willing to walk or get a cab over London Bridge then I'd really recommend Petit Robert behind Borough Market on Park St.  It's great French bistrot food (albeit at double the price of France) with sympathetic service, a superb cheese trolley and armagnacs dating back to the 19th Century to make the afternoon swim by.

W.

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  • 3 months later...
Fay Maschler has just favourably written up Aurora-one of the restaurants at The Great Eastern Hotel by Liverpool St. station.

In the October 5 edition of The Guardian, Jeremey Wayne reports the following regarding Aurora: "the arrival of chef Warren Geraghty has given the kitchen a much needed shot in the arm. Formerly head chef at Richard Neat's rsetaurant in Cannes where he held a Michelin star, . . . he does a wonderful Dover sole with Cafe de Paris butter; and a 'noisette]' of Challsn duck, with stuffed courgette flowers. . . Price per head three-course prix fixe lunch pounds 28; menu degustation pounds 38 (pounds 60 with wines) . . . ."

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I second Tony's thought. I had lunch in the bistro at the Don, which is in the former port cellar of port producer Sandeman (who I have never heard of), and thought the service was great, the food exceptionally good and the prices very reasonable. Four of us had starters, mains, desserts and coffee for about 90 pounds (no liquor). I got the sense that the service is of the same quality as the restaurant, so you end up with the service of a fine dining establishment in a bistro.

I had a wonderful fish soup to start, which came with all the appropriate accompaniments. I had stuffed pounded pork loin for a main (stuffed with ham and cheese if I remember correctly) which was breaded on a bed of rocket and some sort of mash (memory very hazy, the lunch was an interview lunch so was not able to concentrate properly as the interviewee seemed hell bent on discussing U.S. foreign policy, not the subject matter I would bring up in an interview, by the way). I do recall that the waiter came by with four or five mustards laid out on a tray for me to try, which I greatly enjoyed. One of my lunch companions had a lamb burger which was probably the best burger I have had in England in the few years I have been here, it was medium rare, juicy and flavorful, properly salted, had some flavor from the spicing but not so much that it overwhelmed the flavor of the meat and came resting on a mess of crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, frites. The desserts were also very good. I had a Tarte Tatin like concoction, but made with bananas instead of apples. The only low point was the coffee, where I had ordered an espresso they brought me about five to six ounces of something between a strong coffee and very weak espresso.

The Don was far and away the best place I have been to in the city in this price category (4-6 for starters, 9-14 for mains). Coq Dargent shouldnt even exist two blocks away from this place (except for the views of course). It is owned by the same people who own the Bleeding Heart Tavern, so perhaps the food is similar. I have never been to Bleeding Heart except for drinks.

I can also recommend Moro and Cafe du Marche highly. I would not recommend K10 for anything other than a quick casual lunch. I agree with Gavin that the food is very good, but at lunch its always packed and although I have never been rushed by the waiters (such as they are, since 60 percent of the seats are at the conveyor belt), I have always felt as if someone is waiting to pounce on my seat as soon as I vacate it.

Thomas Secor

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The Peasant? Last time I went there I was dreadfully disappointed. Can't remember what I had -I must have screened it out, post-trauma- but I had to send it back. Congealed and lukewarm on top - a 5mm charcoal crust on the bottom. This was 10 mths ago - I haven't been back. What on earth were they up to?

The Bleeding Heart gets my vote.

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The Peasant?  Last time I went there I was dreadfully disappointed. Can't remember what I had -I must have screened it out, post-trauma- but I had to send it back. Congealed and lukewarm on top - a 5mm charcoal crust on the bottom.  This was 10 mths ago - I haven't been back.  What on earth were they up to? 

The Bleeding Heart gets my vote.

I went to the Peasant a few months back and was also disappointed. Nothing horribly wrong, just very average and fifty quid a head. Could have had a rare old time at St. John's for that.

The Bleeding Heart was also a bit mixed when I last went (again a couple of months ago). My salad campagne was superb and my steak fine but my partner's dish was pronounced to be the worst she'd had for a long time. This was in the upstairs bistro though -- maybe the restaurant is more consistent.

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