Le Gavroche. Quite simply, according to HRH the Queen of Kutch and myself, the finest restaurant in the World. We have yet to go to a restaurant that has everything, food, service, atmosphere, charm and most importantly consistency. Each of these attributes have to be read with superlatives. The reason why the restaurant is always full with bookings shutting almost on opening are not far to see. Unless you are very lucky or very powerful reservations are almost always available three months later. No this is not a hoax. Our reservations were made well in advance of our even booking out air tickets.
You must have read my previous post on Le Gavroche. This time we were joined by our close friend the Doctor Businesswoman and for a change of pace, HRH the Queen of Kutch will take it on from here...
The entrance to this temple of good food was sparkly and silvery white for the Christmas season and walking in brought a smile to our faces. We were greeted at the small foyer, our coats were whisked away and we were efficiently led to our table. Our reservation was for 7pm and the restaurant was half full when we entered. A good sign surely. The buzz was happy and relaxed and restaurant staff buzzed around efficiently. Once we were seated, the captain in charge of our table offered branded bag hangers to get our evening bags off the floor. We were handed the menus and for several minutes we sat in silence, contemplating the menu and glancing around as servers and captains and sommeliers buzzed around in what seemed like a smooth choreographed dance. Silent, efficient, unobtrusive and always friendly.
|One of our constant companions|
A round of bubbly was promptly brought to our table and a plate of delightful Canapes was placed on our table. We poured over our menu for what seemed like ages because so much of the food seemed so inviting, it was difficult to choose. Since the reservation was in my name, I was deemed to be the host and I was the only one given the menu with the prices. Both the Gourmet Lawyer and the Doctor Businesswoman had guest menus with no prices given. Rather old world and utterly charming.
Once we had decided what we planned to eat we were given the heavy tome which passes for a wine list. The choice of wines is truly impressive and range from a happy 30 GBP to a stiff 5 digits. This caused another long think till we settled on the house red, a Languedoc, made from Grenache Noir and Syrah which has been made by ace wine maker Michel Chapoutier especially for Michel Roux. A good wine at a great price. With the wine came an Amuse Bouche of Arancini with a Truffle Vinaigrette.
|Arancini with a Truffle Vinaigrette|
Starters arrived soon enough and all three of us were delighted with our choices. Scallops with Squid Ink and Black Curry Powder for the Gourmet Lawyer, Lobster Mouse with Caviar for the Doctor Businesswoman and a Foie Gras and Confit Carrot Layers, Ice Wine Vinegar Jelly, Pomegranate and Radish for me. Light hilarity followed the arrival of the starters when I protested that my food was not brought out under a cloche while the other two were. The captain charmingly pointed out that my starter was cold while the other two were hot starters and hence the cloche. He promised me a cloche for my mains. All three of us were thrilled with our starters and for a few minutes we oohed and mmmed with satisfaction. My fabulously luxurious plate of food was absolutely delightful with surprising bursts of flavour.
Lobster Mousse with Aquitaine Caviar and Champagne Butter Sauce
|Scallops with Squid Ink and Black Curry Powder|
Foie Gras and Confit Carrot Layers, Ice Wine Vinegar Jelly, Pomegranate and Radish
By the time mains arrived, we had demolished the wine and another bottle was asked for. No cloche for me again! By this time the entire front of house was in the know and the General Manager came and explained how a rectangular dish could not have a cloche. The Gourmet Lawyer has written far too much about the superb food we have eaten at Le Gavroche so I will not get into the details but will say that all our food surpassed expectations and it was the general consensus that this was probably the best restaurant food we had ever eaten. Each plate was an absolute work of art so we really were eating with all our senses; sight, smell, texture, taste...
|Roast Squab Pigeon, Foie Gras & Pastilla - with the sauce poured over|
Stone Bass and Pastilla, Scented with Arabian Spices Fennel, Red Rice and Meat Jus
Cumbrian Rose Veal, Creamed Morel Mushroom Sauce and Mashed Potatoes
Dessert followed with glasses of Calvados, Cognac and Dessert Wine and surprise surprise, my Baba au Calvados came to the table under a cloche! Much amusement and laughter and it really was charming to see how a silly joke by me was indulged and the concept of ‘customer delight’ was of paramount importance.
|Pana Cotta with chopped fruit|
|Baba Au Calvados|
|Chocolate Ice Cream with Fruits|
It is pointless here to say we love Le Gavroche for the food. That is a given. It’s really the entire experience. The charm, the efficiency, the grace, the seamless ballet during service and the quiet luxury are what really makes the restaurant special.
We love the restaurant and will return again and again...inshallah