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Help me pick in London

n
nohohound Nov 6, 2006 06:16 PM

A London relative has suggested we try any of seven places during a trip in February:
Arbutus, Chez Bruce, Comptoir Gascon, La Gavroche, Locandra Locatelli, River Cafe, The Ivy. I don't know much about any of them, but I am intriqued by what I have learned about Arbutus, Gascon, and Bruce. Please help me pick, say, for lunches or dinners. Anybody know The Merchant House (Ludlow, Shropshire)?

  1. j
    jkof Nov 15, 2006 11:56 AM

    Chez Bruce was really good when we visited for a Sunday lunch in May. Great service, great food & good value. Sommelier made good suggestions as well. The lunch deal is a real deal. Go via train to Wandsworth Common but one can also tube to Clapham South.

    I was totally underwhelmed by the River Cafe when we went about 2 years ago. Seems grossly overpriced for what we got, but that was then.

    Fifteen is worth considering if you haven't been.

    1. b
      bwvanleeuwen1 Nov 14, 2006 02:55 AM

      Chez Bruce was excellent in terms of value. The tasting menu was terrfic. Classis french. Wonderful wines and very warm. Ambiance was also wonderful. It is a long cab ride though which adds about 40 pounds to the whole venture.

      1. f
        Foodantic Nov 10, 2006 01:32 PM

        I think so

        1 Reply
        1. re: Foodantic
          a
          alexjames Nov 10, 2006 02:18 PM

          Depends on how you define expensive.

          Bill for two was about £240 to include two decent bottles of wine. It struck me as reasonable value for money but I'm a Londoner and thus inured to paying high prices for most things.

        2. m
          Modsey Nov 10, 2006 10:29 AM

          A bit expensive, no?

          1. a
            alexjames Nov 9, 2006 11:36 AM

            Merchant House in Ludlow closed last year. There is no successor restaurant - it reverted to a residential dwelling.

            The town now has just a single two* - Hibiscus. We very much enjoyed the nine course tasting menu a few weeks ago. But it took about four hours to get through.

            Ludlow is at least three hours by car from London and a bit more by train. The weather in February is guaranteed to be vile so a jaunt from London is for the committed only.

            1. s
              Simon Majumdar Nov 8, 2006 11:44 AM

              I am a fan of Comptoir and really recommend starting with the plate of "piggie treats" followed by one of their plates of foie followed by cassoulet. All washed down with a bottle of madiran. There are few nicer ways to pass a cold evening

              Also, I treated myself to a long lunch at Locanda the other day. My first visit in some time and very good it was too. Not least because I blew the budget on a plate of tagliatelle with truffles

              http://majbros.blogspot.com/2006/10/locanda-locatelli-nobody-knows.html

              Both worth visiting. As indeed is Gavroche. The set lunch is £46 which includes 1/2 bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee & petits. Service remains the best in London and the food at lunch, while differing from their evening menu, is still excellent. be warned though, once you add a glass of champagne and, perhaps a little something after, the bill does easily top $100

              http://majbros.blogspot.com/2006/03/le-gavroche-i-have-favourite-joke-of.html

              Arbutus was hugely underwhelming and I really don't get what all the fuss was about.

              http://majbros.blogspot.com/2006/06/a...

              Hope this helps

              S

              1. Candy Nov 7, 2006 06:11 PM

                I know Le Gavroche and it is an experience not to be missed. Go for the set lunch. You will not be disappointed.

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