The reincarnated Boulestin restaurant lives up to expectations, says Zoë McIntyre
A familiar name has re-appeared on the London restaurant scene with the opening of Boulestin in the posh surroundings of Saint James’s Street. The original was a Covent Garden restaurant opened by food writer Marcel Boulestin in the 1920s. Now restaurateur Joel Kissin has revived the name to serve nostalgic French classics to a new generation.
The dining room resembles a French brasserie of yesteryear. Under a high atrium, leather-bound banquettes flank a bold chequerboard floor. Brass light fittings, gilded mirrors and attentive, waist-coated waiters contribute to the old-world elegance.
The menu offers quintessential crowd-pleasers. I began with oeuf en meurette (£10.50), a poached egg served on bread soaked in a heady red-wine sauce of shallots, lardons and mushrooms, while my companion worked through a mound of creamy moules marinières (£9.75).
My fillet of beef bordelaise (£31) was rich in flavour and the meat was cooked to perfection. My guest’s shoulder of lamb (£17.50), served in a light gravy with haricot beans and vegetables, was less flavoursome but still enjoyable.
For dessert, I couldn’t fault my rich and fluffy chocolate mousse (£8.50) while my dinner guest opted for a light and zingy sorbet assortment (£6.75).
We chose from the a la carte menu, but Boulestin also offers cheaper supper and fixed-price theatre menus.
5 Saint James’s Street
London, SW1A 1EF
Tel: 0207 930 2030