I had a very sociable meal at Les 110 de Taillevent, London, in Cavendish Square last night with friends who love their food and drink and are fond of this new-ish restaurant which describes itself as:
… a luxury brasserie created by an acclaimed French gastronomic institution [which] is offering 110 wines by the glass (served in 2 measures of 12.5cl or 7cl), each glass associated with 30 seasonally-inspired “à la carte” dishes specially conceived to deliver unparalleled precision in the pairing of food and wine.
To complement each dish, Pierre Bérot, “Mr Wine” at Le Taillevent in Paris, offers a choice of four wines in four price brackets, all expressing the aspects of a perfect match between wine and food. A real diversity of propositions made possible thanks to an innovative wine conservation system.
I was dubious as Giles Coren in The Times wrote, of his experience, a less than pleasant review, largely based on location, and the blurb, above, is all a bit up itself and I’m not a drinker – other than the odd glass of fizz – but our friends – who’d checked access – are generally reliable so off we rolled.
And, it was a huge success.
For us, the location (across the square, opposite the back of John Lewis) was ideal. We were able to pull up outside and unload me on to a nice wide and level pavement – double yellows so drop-off okay but you’ll need to park in side streets nearby.
There is one step up and the restaurant have a nice sturdy portable ramp which they whipped out for me to easily roll up and into a level-floor dining room (getting out was just as easy because it’s a totally manageable slope gradient/ramp length). This all suits me fine but if you need toilet access, you’ll need to check that when you book as I never even ask about toilets because they are so rarely useable for me.
The dining room is a lovely space with high ceilings, big windows and lots of wheeling room. It was busy without being too loud and bustling. All the staff were charming, knowledgeable and helpful. As dusk fell, it was unbelievably relaxing, looking out at the trees of the square, drink in hand, shooting the breeze with our friends.
Oh, the food and wine, right.
Food: short menu of seasonal produce in brasserie style.
Drinks: huge recommended choice for each course by the glass, or half glass, encouraging you to try more than you possibly could if buying by the bottle. Fab idea.
My evening started well when I noted that my fave fizz – Billy Salmon pink – was being sold by the glass. Delicious. All the food was very good – assorted orders of pate, ravioli, cod, turbot, fishy vol au vents, lamb etc. accompanied by many ‘yums’ – with exceptional desserts.
I ordered what I thought was a tiramisu, not noticing the word ‘bombe’ in the description. A round chocolate sphere turned up and hot chocolate was poured over this. OMG. It was fantastic. I did share – a spoonful to each of my over-keen friends (I want to put a grumpy face emoji here) – before demolishing the lot. Truly, a memorable end to the evening.
To conclude, if you’re anywhere near the area – in John Lewis or at the Wigmore Hall maybe – ignore Giles Coren, drop in and, enjoy.