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Le Gavroche vs GR at Claridges - Please Help! [Moved from International board]

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  • Andrew Jul 20, 2004 05:48 AM
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Hi to all,

I am planning a special 30th Birthday meal in London in December for my fiancee and am torn between Le Gavroche and Gordon Ramsay at Claridges. Aiming for a very romantic, special meal - any advice from anyone who's eaten at either or both most appreciated.

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    angela gilliam

    we did le gavroche 2 years ago and it was excellent, especially the red meats. we ordered special wines though, which suffered from high mark-up. clientele seemed to be more interested in being seen there than in the food, a bit flashy, though this isn't the fault of the resto.

    we,ve been to claridges several times in the last year and it is amazing. very classical setting which seems intimate despite the size of the dinig room. excellent discreet service. the chef's table in the kitchen is an amazing culinary adventure (especially if you choose the mystery wines to accompany) but isn't the choice for a romantic dinner.

    enjoy and good luck.

    7 Replies
    1. re: angela gilliam

      Thanks for your reply, still can't decide between the two. Have read a few bad reviews of GR at Claridges but I guess you'll always get a few. Most seem to moan either about the service there but a few about the quality of the food?

      1. re: Andrew
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        angela gilliam

        the food at claridges has always made us very happy. we live in london and aren't often able to say that. the service has been excellent as well. we do eat at the chef's table more often than the dining room, but the experiences tend to run together when reviewing.

        le gavroche, though a distant memory, served excellent classic french food. we found the atmosphere and staff welcoming; except for the other guests as mentionned before. the whole experience was amazingly french; a nice touch for a special night.

        i think that one often needs to 'interpret' reviews both good and bad; american visitors usually have different standards and expectations, and are often the most profuse on resto reviews. i say that with all respect as i am american and have seen my personal standards and expectations change after years abroad....

        good luck

        1. re: angela gilliam

          Thanks for your reply Angela, many very good points.

          I do have to say that the people I have been speaking to re my reservation at GR/Claridges have been very helpful so I certainly can't fault them so far, and since my better half adores all things art deco, I think Claridges may just edge it.

          1. re: Andrew

            Don't be silly. There is no comparison. Le Gavroche is streets ahead of Claridges in terms of food, service and atmosphere. It is probably the best restaurant in London and is a special experience, as opposed to the run of the mill experience at Claridges.

            1. re: Tony Finch

              Aha, now there's a fly in the ointment and once again I'm torn! Thanks for your input, the only benefit I have is plenty of time to make my mind up. Le Gavroche does sound like an amazing dining experience. One thing you could possibly help with - my better half doesn't eat red meat or shellfish but will eat chicken and other fish, does this affect your view at all as some French restaurants I have been to tend to rely very heavily on items she won't eat.

              1. re: Andrew

                You should be fine with poultry and fish dishes at Le Gavroche but it won't do any harm to call the restaurant just to check and to discuss the situation with them.

                Le Gavroche is a high quality operation dedicated to old fashioned service values. I'd be surprised if they don't bend over backwards to accommodate your needs if you give them reasonable notice

                1. re: Andrew

                  honey...scroll back up and read your obsessive postings.........then take a deep breath and realize that she loves you and IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU TAKE HER!...now settle down and flip a coin...........

      2. We had a magical lunch on our 29th anniversary this spring at La Gavroche. We'll never forget it. Wonderful!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Hi Candy,

          Thanks for your reply. It seems like there's very little to choose between the two. Is Le Gavroche as intimate as it sounds as my only worry is that it'll be a little bit stuffy?

          1. re: Andrew

            I found it intimate, romantic and the service was amazing as was the fod. Not stuffy. we were quite relaxed and enjoyed the entire experience.

        2. Gosh,
          I don't know how anyone can compare the two, or be confused in regards to which is in the ascendency. Gavroche is, and is suitably afford the recognition, of being far, far superior. It can be a bit of an old gentlemens club in feel, but it is a superb restaurant in the way GR at Claridges can only imagine.

          you never, ever feel 'processed' at Gavroche - the same can't be said for GR@C.

          Do not forget that Gavroche is considerably more expensive also.

          1. a
            Amin (London Foodie)

            Andrew, the suspense is killing me. Have you decided
            which one its going to be ? My choice would be
            La Gavroche

            You can go to claridges another time and enjoy
            the art deco

            Don't forget a birthday gift.

            Do let us have a post birthday update.

            1. Hi, I've eaten at both restaurants, but IMO Le Gavroche is far superior. We celebrated my birthday there last year, and are going back in December this year for our wedding anniversary.

              When we went for my birthday, I was lucky enough for Michel Roux to come out and wish me a happy birthday, and he also gave me and my husband a personal tour of the kitchen.

              The food is spectacular, and the service is nothing short of perfect.

              Good luck. I'm sure you will have the most amazing night regardless of which restaurant you pick - but I'd go Le Gavroche :-)