My VERY yummy mummy friend Sapphire and I had dinner in the diary for this Wednesday night, and I was delighted when she suggested the Bistrot Bruno Loubet at the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell as the venue. What a glamorous mum, although maybe they’re all like that in Hampstead…:)
Reviews have generally been great (apart from this hilarious “lamb ball” one from Londonelicious) and I was informed in advance about the fabulously airy big windows by Gourmet Chick. I wasn’t disappointed when I walked in – gorgeous hotel and circular bar, great atmosphere, friendly bar staff and prosecco with nice olives to start (on the house because the table was approximately 2 minutes late, not that we’d even noticed – service as a whole was fantastic here).
The menu was “interesting French” with some classics like snails and boudin blanc with imaginative touches. I’ll start by saying I don’t think I ordered brilliantly and I’d like to try some different options next time. But anyway I plumped for soused mackerel, watercress salad, buckwheat bread with prawn butter to start. It was fresh, tangy and light but not mind-blowing and a little dry – the prawn butter was spread so thin I couldn’t really taste it. It was nice. It just wasn’t WOW. Sapphire totally out-ordered me with the beetroot ravioli which was absolutely delicious.Humungous portions!
Soused mackerel salad, buckwheat bread with prawn butter in the background, where it deserved to be…
Next, I went for the farmed rabbit leg, filled with a herb farce, carrot puree and young vegetables while Sapphire had the lamb. My rabbit was tasty but a couple of issues again – it was a little oily and garlicky, so much so that I was full really quickly and felt a little icky on the way home… And I’m sure I had rabbit before which tasted like gamey rabbit but this rabbit tasted like chicken. But maybe rabbit leg does taste like chicken? Not sure. Anyway the carrot puree and veg were delicious and the meat was very tender – I’d just have liked it a little less greasy.
The rabbit leg – good but a little icky
Veh nice wine – note sharing a bottle of wine with someone with toddlers to look after the next morning means generous portions, hic 🙂
We were too full for pud (the portions are huge) but washed the whole lot down with a £29 bottle of Pinot Noir which was full-bodied and lovely. I was impressed at the good value wine list which started around £20 a bottle – not at all pretentious. The whole thing came to £50 each which of course isn’t by any means cheap BUT extremely good value for lovely service, a beautiful setting and tasty food (even with my gripes above) – especially as you can pay similar for a distinctly average restaurant elsewhere in London. With the big windows I reckon it would be a lovely “posh lunch” option too.