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Apr 27, 2013 09:21 AM

London so far

Well we started at Kettners against the better judgement of many of you. It was just what I expected. Bland , serviceable, quick, close to theater.. I started with chicken liver parfait which was quite tasty and then went light pre theater with quiche of the day ( spinach and cheddar) served with a salad. Couple of glasses of wine and it was fine for what it was. Less than 20£ per head before wine. Service was fine. No raves. No rants. Next evening was a business dinner at Maze. Absolutely no rush to ever go back. Husband and I thought the menu was just plain weird. I had spicy tuna roll as starter and the tuna population is safe from extinction for many years to come with this serving. It amounted to rice and seaweed with a microscopic square of tuna on top . Then had aged Aberdeen ribeye ( at 32£) flat and fatty. Nothing special at all. There were 8 of us and it worked out to about 120£ pp as wine flowed freely. Needed it as the food wasn't very interesting. Felt very assembly line and was loud and somewhat pretentious....but i sort of expected that but went along for the ride. Last evening we experienced The Square for the first time in several years. Just exquisite. Many amuse including wonderful gougeres, foie gras in a thin cone, a delightful spring green vegetable velouté ...I started with " tasting of spring" which was 8 small servings of all new spring things..white asparagus velouté , chopped sauté of morels with green garlic sauce, spear of green asparagus with a foam, veal tartare, and I can't recall what else . Ambitious delicious and very special. Main of veal cheek with morels and a lovely sauce. Then pre desserts went wild with a donut and cream, lollipops etc. I ended with all things Rhubarb ..tartness was a great balance to the richness of the rest of the meal. Needless to say service and enthusiasm of the staff were just spot on. I love that room and it reminds me of Hiramatsu in Paris. White tableclothes, simple contemporary feel and gorgeous Murano glass accents. Half bottle of Condrieu and full of chassgne Montrachet and I needed the first cab we could flag. Today while walking and window shopping we wanted something light ...stopped at Brasserie Chevrot near Old Bond Street. Light it was not. Starter of grilled asparagus with shaved parmesean and bernaise foam. I had cote de porc as a main and it was perfectly done and large . Food was surprisingly good. Service not so much. Something light and quick turned into the main meal of the day .....2plus hour adventure with extreme waits. 40 minutes to get starters, 40 more to get mains. Not the floors fault. Someone in the weeds in the kitchen. It was very good not great and caused us to cancel Alyn Williams for fear of gout or heart attack. We have a late reservation at Naga for some simple Thai tonight and off to Dublin tomorrow. Dublin unstructured except for an evening at Patrick Guillebard. Will report second round soon. Any recs for Sunday Monday evenings in Dublin appreciated. Pubs good. Pubs and music better. Thanks.

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  1. Brasserie Chavot is indeed superb -- the dishes are straightforward classics, but the underlying technique was outstanding. Don't see a lot of restaurants executing at this level, even ones purporting to be fancier. For example, the mashed potato with the daube de bouef was brilliantly smooth and devastatingly rich, and all the meats I've had, from lamb to fish, all texturally perfect. Sauces are rich but smooth and glossy. Flavours mostly nuanced (the dressing for the watercress salad in with the ribeye was perfectly tuned), except perhaps the exuberant lime in the scallop starter. Favourites so far were the grilled lamb with cous cous, and the cote de porc that balanced mild pungent mustard with fennel and maybe tarragon, against sweet roasted apple. Classic desserts seemed best - remarkably fresh tasting profiteroles, elegantly smooth chestnut mousse enlivened by strategic dots of berry sauce (well, not exactly a classic mont blanc, but still wonderful), a dense yet delicate foamy ile flottante. The food is rich -- I always thought the that portions seemed small, but I always feel very full afterwards.

    2 Replies
    1. re: limster

      Limster I agree . I may have diminished the quality of the food due to the service problems. The pork with mustard sauce was indeed delicious and we had a side of the mashed potato which I labeled a Robuchon moment.
      Naga was ok but we would have enjoyed the food more had it not arrived all at once like a fast food joint. The chicken curry was the best of our dishes.

      1. re: limster

        Sunday is probably the chef's day off at Chavot -- quality wasn't as high as the other days that I've been, e.g profiteroles weren't as fresh tasting and slightly floppy, plating seemed less careful.

      2. People have been talking here about the good food at the Glasshouse in Dublin. We had a nice dinner at L'Egueleton. Service was good and the menu was not as French as the name would have one think. It may seem a comedown after Patrick Guillebard.