Eve Middleton sits down to dinner at Brasserie Chavot in London
Although purists might argue that you could blind-taste French dishes straight from the saucepan and their flavour would not be altered one jot, there are those who consider that to fully appreciate gastronomie, the setting must match the quality of the cuisine.
The good news is that at Brasserie Chavot, both foodies and aesthetes will be satisfied. As my companion and I made our way across the intricate mosaic-tiled floor towards our table, the red leather banquettes and shiny black wooden tables beckoned invitingly under lavish, glinting chandeliers.
Nibbling on warm walnut bread, we chose from head chef Eric Chavot’s carefully crafted menu. My starter of ice-cold oysters was served with a hot golden-crumbed crépinette (pan-fried sausagemeat) and shallot vinegar (£11.50), while my companion’s crab mayonnaise with avocado (£11.75) was perfectly seasoned. Our main courses of sea bream with tapenade and fennel (£19) with a mixed leaf salad (£3.75), and a beef daube (£19.50) with creamy mash (£3.75) were proof of a slick kitchen operation fully versed in classic French flavours.
After desserts of île flottante (£7.50) and a delicate coupe de fraises (£7.50), it just needed a delicate corners-of-the-mouth dabbing with a fine linen napkin and a glance in the Venetian cut-glass mirrors to end our meal in equally fine style.
41 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YF