Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Square, Le Gavroche, or Sketch?


Recommended Posts

overall, exactly what you expect with the bonus of a truly historic cheese board and a heavily marked up wine list sans bargains.

Scott, absolutely agree about the cheese board - one of the best I've ever had. Winelist is expensive but unbelievably comprehensive

Gav

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had two really outstanding meals at Lindsay House over the last couple of months. I  would recommend it highly but you have to take into account the fact that the restaurant  is spread over about four floors and that the service inevitably suffers because of that. The new maitre'd is ex-Square and does a great job but even he can't be everywhere at once. Lunch at £27 for three courses is particularly good value.

Andy, do you have any further details on the Lindsay House. I was always a big fan against the general tide on this board some time ago.

What is Corrigan's involvement these days?

Gav

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its still very much Corrigan's place. Although he was often to be seen manning the oyster bar at Bentley's when it first opened, he was apparently back in Soho as soon as he was happy with the way things were running at the new restaurant. I honestly don't know how many services a week he is in the kitchen, but I will say that the food is just stunning at the moment. Presse of rabbit and foie gras with baby artichokes and pickled cep followed by braised shoulder of Elwyn valley lamb with sweetbread and Irish apple tart with single malt cream was just wonderful - and that's just the 27 quid set lunch. Despite any service issues, I think the downstairs dining room is one of the nicest in London - it has real character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK back at work after a yummy weekend. Boo for work!

We went to Le Gavroche on Saturday and had the tasting menu. I'm sorry to say, it would have been a great meal at half or even two thirds the price. It was simply not a £300 experience.

First, we had to wait quite a while for the hostess to come take our coats and seat us. She was away when we got there, there were people in front of us, ok no problem.

Then, of course, we got seated directly next to the GIANT arrangement of lillies. Unfortunately, I am allergic to them. Within about 30 seconds of being in the same room, my sinuses start to fill up. So we requested another table and got one -- 5 feet away. :unsure: so sad.

(We have encountered this in a few posh London restaurants. Why would you decorate a restaurant with such strong flowers that so many people are allergic to? People are there to taste the food, not the decor. I just don't get it.)

The service was nothing too exciting. We had to ask twice for a copy of the degustation menu for the table (even though all the others had them). Otherwise, we would have had no idea what was coming. Our main waiter was ill and could barely speak. He apologised for his lack of voice but 1) we couldn't understand anything he said, since he plopped all the dishes on the table, said what they were in France and buggered off and 2) what is he doing working with food and the public if he is sick enough that he has to apologise for it?

The speed of service was really variable. We waited ages for our first courses, while the last ones came hard and fast. The couple at the table next to us had the opposite issue (they were one course ahead). Their first dishes came bang bang bang then they sat with their empty cheese plates and wine glasses for half an hour. We also didn't get any bread at all until the third course.

Speaking of the cheese course, I was a bit irritated when the server stopped in the middle of making my plate and backed the whole cart up and went away. Why? So that another waiter could approach the woman at the next table from the correct side to offer her bread. Just rubbed me the wrong way. (Though not as much as the drunk guy at the next table who just kept getting louder and louder and drunker and drunker. Trust me sir, I don't *care* about your wife and your sex life, or lack thereof. Really, not. Promise.)

So yeah, I could forgive all that if the food was outstanding. But it wasn't. It was all ok, but just nothing to write home about. Nothing really worth mentioning. Of course, I was not at optimal tasting capacity from the flowers. My fiance enjoyed the food a bit more than I did.

The desserts were a highlight, though! The chocolate sorbet and the mille feuillet were excellent. The petit fours were rather sad though, especially the stale macaroons. I can get better at any aiport in Europe! Come on now!

As a poster above said, they were pretty good about refilling the wine glasses -- sporadically though. At one point, I had three glasses in front of me, at another we went at least 30 minutes with nothing.

Sorry if that's a really nit-picky review, I'm not a professional critic at all, just a foodie who feels a bit ripped off at paying £300 for mediocre food and service on a Saturday night. If the bill had been more in the £175 range, that would have changed my overall feeling a bit. Maybe we should have known something was awry when we could get reservations the night before. In the past few months, we've had much better degustation experiences at both Club Gascon in London and Zarenda in Madrid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At £300 (whether per head or for two) you deserve to be nit-picky. I've heard too many stories of variable food/service about Le G, and coupled with the dress code it's put me right off.

(Incidentally, have you considered asking about lillies when you book?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised - I went to Le Gavroche when my parents came to town and service was lovely (by my high American standards) and the food was excellent. It was in the middle of the week, though.

I was at Lindsay House 3 years ago and wasn't particularly impressed. Service was variable and the food was good, but not spectacular. And the portions were small and I don't just mean "to an American", I mean in a "I HAD to order dessert or I would have gone home hungry" way.

(Don't ask me about wine lists, though, as I never look at them. I judge restaurants on their friendliness to the non-drinker.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also surprised, and sorry, to hear about your disappointing experience. I took matching food and wines on a Friday night and was treated like royalty. The food was beautiful and I loved the atmosphere.

I was eyed with some suspicion by one of the twins as I removed my jacket so that I could take off the jumper I had on underneath, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I really cannot believe what they told you at RHR...book at Le Gav as Plan A, and then if you want to test the theory, try to book as well at RHR, be really nice, if it's a guy who answers the phone, put on a more American accent, say it's a special birthday, say you know how popular the restaurant is but perhaps someone has cancelled...

Our experience trying to book RHR this morning: my husband rang at 9 am sharp. It took him three attempts to get through (this was now 9:05). He was put on hold for...get this...40 mins and then told that the only table they had available on the 2nd of May was at 10:30. We passed. He was so annoyed that its put him off going. They also told him three times that he couldn't wear jeans and trainers. 'I think I can manage that', he responded. Overall, not a nice impression.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our experience trying to book RHR this morning: my husband rang at 9 am sharp. It took him three attempts to get through (this was now 9:05). He was put on hold for...get this...40 mins and then told that the only table they had available on the 2nd of May was at 10:30. We passed. He was so annoyed that its put him off going. They also told him three times that he couldn't wear jeans and trainers. 'I think I can manage that', he responded. Overall, not a nice impression.

I totally agree Hallie. I have often thought I would like to visit all three of the 3* Michelin restaurants and RHR was the one remaining one for us to try. But this phone policy - whilst possibly necessary in their mind- appears totally invidious from the perspective of the potential customer. 40 minutes on hold and then being told repeatedly what not to wear. For god's sake- we are not 6 years old.

The above and the opnions of those who I trust who have dined there recently- mean I will sadly never bother now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right. Booked the Square for my birthday in May. I'll let you know how it goes. Andy, I'll be curious to hear how you like the new menu.

I decided on more experimental cuisine rather than more traditional. Will have to do Le Gav in the coming months. Thanks everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had two really outstanding meals at Lindsay House over the last couple of months. I  would recommend it highly but you have to take into account the fact that the restaurant  is spread over about four floors and that the service inevitably suffers because of that. The new maitre'd is ex-Square and does a great job but even he can't be everywhere at once. Lunch at £27 for three courses is particularly good value.

Andy, you've convinced me - I have a reservation at the Lindsay House for the beginning of May. I'll report back. Pied a Terre is now on hold...

Gav

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andy, you've convinced me - I have a reservation at the Lindsay House for the beginning of May. I'll report back. Pied a Terre is now on hold...

Oh God the responsibility, I do hope you like it! I'd try and get a table in the downstairs room if you possibly can which I think is the nicest place to dine there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The new menu is on the restaurant's website. My meal was on Tuesday was very, very good indeed and the refurbishment has given the place a whole new sheen without changing the character of the place at all. There's new floor, new wall coverings, new sofas in the bar, some minor structural changes, new lighting, new curtains and new window panels. There's some ongoing tweaking and new furniture yet to arrive but it looks great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The new menu is on the restaurant's website. My meal was on Tuesday was very, very good indeed and the refurbishment has given the place a whole new sheen without changing the character of the place at all. There's new floor, new wall coverings, new sofas in the bar, some minor structural changes, new lighting, new curtains and new window panels. There's some ongoing tweaking and new furniture yet to arrive but it looks great.

I must say, the menu looks amazing (one of the reasons why I settled on The Square in the end). So Andy, tell all. What did you have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, Hallie, the menu looks fantastic. Morels galore.

This sounds great:

"Rib of Beef with New Season’s Onions and a Persillade of Sweetbreads, Tongue and Morels"

It would be good to hear what you had, Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've only been twice, but on each occasion I found the service a little amateurish for a restaurant at this level...hard to put your finger on...but maybe I was unlucky?

BTW off to the Lindsay House tonight...let's hope it's up to scratch for your sake Andy!

Gav

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The new menu is on the restaurant's website.

The menu looks nice. The website sucks though: it is all flash, and there isn't any way I could see of going back anywhere, so you click down to menus/wine, then to get back to menus you have to start again from the top of the site. It is the same for every bit of the site: never any way to go back and take a different route without starting all over again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I can help you there - if you're on the main menu page, look at the thin red band between the picture on the left and the list of menus on the right, it says "home". Click on that and you're on the home page. Its the same on all the rest of the pages. It took a while for me to work that out - not the most user friendly of navigation systems I have to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...