Sophisticated French eats with a laidback vibe
Where? Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, 66 Baker Street, London W1U 7DJ (020 7935 4007, www.galvinrestaurants.com)
Sounds posh! It looks it, too, what with the dark leather banquettes, antique mirrors and chic photography on the walls, however, this is actually Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin’s low-key, laidback venue. If you want to get really dressed up, try their special occasions-only Galvin at Windows in the Park Lane Hilton, but if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe (where it really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing), this is the place to come.
So no snotty waiters then? It might have the French bistro ambiance down to a T, but thankfully the staff don’t tow the line, with cheery faces all round and no frowns if you need dishes on the menu translated.
French vibe, French cuisine? Most definitely, with Parisian classics like escargots, oysters, beef Bourguignonne and tarte tatin all popular choices on the menu. Having said that, if you’re not a snails or foie gras kind of gal (or guy), there’s still plenty to choose from. Our entrée of Dorset crab and beurre Nantais went down a treat, while the roast fillet of cod, with haricots blancs and chorizo, was simply divine.
Et du vin? Bien sur! The extensive wine list (all French, of course), starts from just £16.40 a bottle, with the house Champagne (a VERY popular choice when we visited, despite it being lunchtime) selling at £9.50 a glass, or £42 a bottle.
How much is the food going to set me back? Not as much as you’d think. The three-course Menu Prix Fixe is a frankly bargain-acious £15.50 at lunch, or £17.50 from 6pm-7pm in the evening.
Details: Lunch at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is served from 12pm-2.30pm from Monday to Saturday, or until 3.30pm on Sunday. The dinner service starts at 6pm and goes on until 9.30pm on Sunday, 10.30pm Monday to Wednesday and 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.