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Nov 15, 2009 10:42 AM

terroirs in the basement [London]

i read that terroirs has recently opened a more formal restaurant in its basement. has anyone been? if so, what did you think?

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  1. Tried (unsuccessfully) to get a table downstairs last week but had a quick peek at the menu which is different from upstairs. Downstairs has more fish and 'bigger' meat meals and the atmosphere is a little less frantic than upstairs.

    I'd definitely try the downstairs restaurant next long as I can get a table!

    9 Replies
    1. re: frogprince

      Do they take reservations for the downstairs room? TIA

      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

        I'm planning on going to Terroirs on my upcoming to visit to London and am also curious about the reservation policy. Assuming both take reservations, which is the better place (upstairs vs. downstairs) to reserve?

        1. re: michaelstl

          Reservations were essential for upstairs, so logical for downstairs. FP's post implies this is the case. Upstairs needed booking well in advance so probably not a last minute option.

          1. re: PhilD

            I planned to reserve about a month in advance to make sure we didn't have any issues getting in. I just didn't know if one area was significantly better than the other. To give some context, we're stopping in for a lighter meal and some wine before heading to the theater. I've looked at both menus online and there isn't much of a difference in the dishes offered so I'm mostly curious about ambiance/comfort level factors.

            1. re: michaelstl

              We booked in for a lazy Saturday lunch(for 2) about three days in advance, no problem. We were taken to a table downstairs which did not suit so I asked to be seated in another part of the room,quite close to the kitchen in fact,(its downstairs)
              I prefer the animation but my wife does not like sitting at the bar which would be my choice of seat.
              The table next to us(for 3) which is right next to the kitchen was my next choice, but I was told it was reserved and indeed a bit later two foodies took that table, which pleased us because they were very entertaining
              From my point of view, I prefer the basement level.

              1. re: fat boy slim

                was there any noticeable difference in the food, given the different menu?

                1. re: fat boy slim

                  FBS - are you not describing the original space? A mezzanine floor on the left as you enter, then down a flight of steps to a bar/open kitchen, with a dining area on the right. I understood the new basement was below this, in effect a sub-basement.

                  We also did the "dance of the tables" moving three times in the evening, partially because we wanted to, and partially because they have a time limit on the reservation for a table. We were giving their wine list a good working out so I think they were happy to be flexible on the time limit.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Gday Phil, I think you may be right. However isn't the bar and upstairs tables to the right of the door on entrance? and downstairs,. the dining area to the left, the bar and kitchen to the right? I must be drinking to much of their wine
                    Just looked at their site and my visit was before Oct 12 so it seems alterations have been made Also the menus are different. All very confusing now, have to make another visit.

                    1. re: fat boy slim

                      Sorry - yes got my left and rights mixed up.

      2. Ate downstairs at the bar last night without a reservation, and there were free seats next to us as well. Would guess if there are only two of you and it is early in the week before 7, you likely have a good chance to get a seat at the bar without a booking.

        Didn't notice any difference in the quality of food, but did think that service was better and the environs much less rushed, loud, and hectic. When I go again will try to sit in the basement. It was a real oasis until it started to get busy around 8, but very easy to have a conversion.

        The chicken and potatoes (served for 2) looked amazing, am looking forward to have the chance to go again soon and try it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nanette

          Good to hear. I've booked for four of us on 23 December at 9.30, and Mr GG tends to get a bit huffy if it's too loud and he can't hold a conversation!

          1. re: greedygirl

            I'm booked on 12/21 for upstairs and am wondering if downstairs may have been a better option. We're going early (right at the start of dinner service) so hopefully upstairs will be energetic and not chaotic.

            1. re: michaelstl

              I've been a number of times and find that upstairs doesn't get all that loud until about 8, should be alright. However, the tables downstairs a bit more spread out, not quite as cheek to jowl, but it was rather quiet before 7.

          2. re: nanette

            Nanette, what did you eat, and was it as good as your previous visits?

            1. re: fat boy slim

              Truthfully, we mostly drank. As we were sat at the bar, we didn't have a proper meal, but nibbled on charcuterie, cheese, and then had dessert. The spiced walnuts on the endive were very good and the creme caramel rather dreamy.

              I actually thought what we ate had improved over previous visits (the terrine was better). The service was very much improved.

              1. re: nanette

                i went the other week but got a table upstairs. We ate a smoked eel salad, charcuterie, baked Vacherin, deep fried duck skins and crudites. All were gorgeous. I went a week prior to that and ordered the snail and bacon salad but it never arrived - they seemed run off their feet. Looking forward to trying downstairs.

          3. A year later, do both rooms have bar areas? If loudness isn't a problem, any reason to go to one instead of the other?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joanie

              I went just last week for the first time as it happens. Had a really fantastic time downstairs, and yes it has a small bar area there too. Having not eaten upstairs, I'd say downstairs appears a little more 'sophisticated' with an emphasis on a dining experience (and probably a slightly more dining out menu). Upstairs seemed a little more raucous. Nevertheless I'd say any part in in most respects almost exactly the same - I'm talking subtleties of ambiance rather than differences of any substance.