All of the Galvin Brothers' restaurants are great, but their Bistrot is my favourite. It has an intimate, club-like feel and décor, and yet is quite relaxed and informal, without any pretension. The diners always seem to be comprised mainly of repeat customers; not surprising as there is no hype to this place that I'm aware of.
They keep your details on file and know your contact numbers when you book... perhaps to screen out the no-shows? And booking seem to be always a good idea as I don't think I've ever been when they weren't full, even in mid-week.
Their menu changes quite frequently, but has retained some favourites since their opening some eight years ago. Exquisite crab lasagne, layers of delicious crab meat between thin, circular pasta sheets with a creamy sauce, served in a portion that leaves you craving your next chance to visit; terrines of ham hock, chicken and foie gras, about as good as terrines get, though I think the idea slightly better than the reality. Perhaps I just prefer hot foie gras...
Main courses have included a pigeon tagine, possibly the tastiest version I've ever had, perfectly deconstructed; squab pigeon roasted pink; slow cooked, falling apart belly of pork and my favourite, calf's brains. A whole brain cooked slightly crispy on the outside, with beurre noisette & capers... My biggest disappointment in life was that this was no longer on their menu when I last went.
The tables are a bit close together, but no more so than other bistros and the service is European and professionally efficient.
OK, enough of that, I'm going to find a free evening to go again...
This is a good restaurant - we were warmly greeted and served in an efficient way.
The food we had was all good, and included starting with Escargots and Asparagus and was then ably followed by Iberico Pork and Navarin Lamb.
We had a great table at the front of the restaurant and along with good food we enjoyed the recommendation on the Cairanne wine.
It was a good night.....everything about the night was good...very good although nothing was outstanding....and would we come again? ...yes.
Food: We ordered the small escargots and small tartare for starters, the John Dory and large tartare for our entrees and the tarte tatin for dessert since they are known for it. Everything was traditional French and delicious - especially the steak tartare. Lastly, the bread that they bring to the table is to die for. We asked for two extra since it was so good.
Drinks: We received two glasses of champagne complimentary since we booked through OpenTable. We then ordered a glass of wine.
Price: 94.78 GBP for two people.
Ambiance: The weather was nice and we were able to sit on their outside terrace area located on the back side of their restaurant. It was nice and cozy with the four tables.
Service: From the hostess to our waiters, everyone was very delightful and friendly.
Would I go back? Yes, especially for the steak tartare and the bread. It's a great neighbourhood spot that will be put on the go to list.
Ate dinner here last Friday evening. The place is cozy, unpretentious, and the service is very welcoming!
Some of the seating is pretty tight. I almost had to sit on the table next to ours to get into our table and had to do the same on the way out. But, we got by with a few apologies and awkward smiles :D.
Overall it was a good experience. We shared a smoked salmon appetiser, enjoyed some fresh baked bread, and also a cocktail before our main. Everything was good, cooked/prepared properly, but perhaps not the most imaginative menu I've seen.
They were out of the lamb (by 8pm, oops) so we both enjoyed the beef dish (short rib and cheek). This was very good! The entrees come with vegetables but I found the ratio of meat to veg somewhat overwhelming. I'd add a side or two.
Unfortunately we ordered a bottle of wine with our entrees, and it failed to come while the food was hot. We waited for a while, then started eating so we could enjoy the food, then had to ask again as it still wasn't on it's way. Not the greatest thing to essentially finish the meal before the wine. BUT, they did the right thing, and our (delicious!) bottle of wine was on the house.
So, the service was good in the end (they promptly fixed a mistake). It's right across the street from my offices so I will definitely be back. Maybe for lunch this time.
Nice classical French restaurant with British twist - good pricing as well. I would definitely try once and see. There is relatively affordable lunch and theatre on prix fixe menu if you want to save some money.
Food was good. Wine choices were wonderful. Service was attentive
We rushed to our dinner reservations which followed drinks at Zoo Lates earlier. We had quite a late reservation around 9:45 with a table of 11. Because of the size of the group, they asked us to have a limited menu with a choice of 3 for each course. We were all pretty hungry so when the bread and butter came, we devoured it.
I had the Dorset crab lasagna. It wasn't what I expected but it tasted fantastic! Especially having been down to Dorset recently, it brought some good memories. I had the lamb as a main and it was so perfectly cooked and seasoned. I haven't had such a good meal in a while.
We were drunk, loud and sometimes a little obnoxious but the service was really good. We were the last table left... and think they even started clearing the place up a bit but they let us stay until we were ready to settle the bill.
I'd definitely like to come back when I'm not so intoxicated!
A co-worker of mine was kind enough to take me to this lovely restaurant for lunch. I didn't have high expectations because even though it was lovely inside I didn't think the food would be my type.
We had the price fixe meal because otherwise it would have been very pricey. I started off with something I knew had asparagus but couldn't tell from the description that it was a soup. They should make that clear. However, I am very happy it was. It was delicious! Then I had chicken leg with little potatoes and carrots I think. I wasn't excited about meat on a bone but they also put two boneless slices on the plate. It was wonderful as well.
We ended the meal with some sort of white dessert (kind of like panna cotta) with fabulous berries on top. Heaven on a plate.
Service was perfect. What a nice treat!
I found Galvin Bistrot De Luxe through an online remmendation, after finding that my favourite French bistro, had recently shut down. I wanted something that impressed, but didn't beat you round the face with its credentials. Galvin is wonderfully understated, and somewhat comfortable in its status as a high quality establishment, although that may just be a touch of Gallic confidence creeping in there.
When we arrived, the restaurant was full, but, as they have two seatings on a weekday, that was merely due to the diners from the previous seating finishing up. The waiters were attentive, polite, and informative, ready to assist when required, and leave you be when not. The food of course, was the thing that made the evening, my dining companion having the duck, which she enjoyed greatly, and I had the Scotch Beef, with accompanying amuse bouches. We enjoyed this with a red superbly chosen by the sommelier, and that was enough for the both of us. Galvin also provide a prix fixe meal for the smaller budget, and many of the items on there looked rather tempting, so don't thnk a trip there s necessarily going to break the bank. If you have the chance, I'd certainly recommend a visit!
Had a work-related lunch here and didn't choose the venue, but ended up having a lovely meal.
The dark wood interior screams classic French bistro, and waiters are the perfect level of attentive. I had smoked salmon to start, which was plentiful in its portion size, but didn't really match up taste-wise.
Then I had the roast chicken breast, with mash and various types of greens and roasted vegetables in a jus. That was quite wonderful.
Wine, prosecco and such complimented our food well, but I feel my great experience was more so led by the company than the food.
Yes, it's a lovely French place, but the decor and placement of the table takes away some of the intimacy and I'm not sure it's first of my list to go back to.
The interior has the look of a private men's club circa 1930s, but the food in this lovely bistro is strictly classic French with some contemporary touches. Be forewarned - if you're concerned about calories or cholesterol, this isn't the place for you.
You must start with the crab lasagne with chive beurre blanc. Layered between perfectly al dente noodles are chunks of fresh crab swimming in a delectable sauce. I wish they served it as a main course because as generous a portion as the appetizer is, it's so sensational you'll crave more.
The entrees are large enough that light eaters probably will want a doggy bag for the next day's lunch. An enormous ribeye steak, grilled medium-rare exactly as ordered, was served with crisp green beans and a wedge of potato casserole, both swimming in butter. Pork cheeks and sausage, braised with shallots, were served on a bed of lentils. The meat was so tender it flaked with a fork.
Rice pudding with roasted figs and an apple tarte with cream were the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Ordering a la carte, the tab for two, with wine and tip, will run a very reasonable £90 or so. Bargain hunters will be happy to find they offer a 3-course lunch for £15.50 and, from 6.00 - 7.00pm, a 3-course dinner for an amazingly low £17.50.
This review is pretty much just going to be me taking you on a wild train ride through GUSHY FANGURL TOWN but before you turn a suspicious eye to my compliments, just know that I endured this entire meal next to a table containing two two two two screaming children. It is now unclear to me who else was at this loud table of harpy devil spawn (who also, by the way, found it necessary to crawl across all the chairs and wave their arms frantically intermittently) but I do remember there being a balloon somewhere in the fray.
We had escargot and oysters to start. Oysters were delicate and fresh. Escargot were flavorful and probably the best I've ever had and the leftover broth went great with the warm, sliced bread.
OH YES THE BREAD. Never have I been to a restaurant where bread was replenished SO READILY.
I had the Sunday roast (pork) as my main with potatoes, applesauce and cabbage. It was tender and juicy and delicious. The only comparable pork dish I can remember having in recent memory is the pork chops at Barbecoa.
So yes, all in all, great service, delicious food, GOOD LIGHTING FOR FIENDISH FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY and bountiful helpings of fresh bread with love from Peeta Mellark (or so it felt).
Mmmm... I love anything smothered in a red wine sauce, and I could drink Galvin's by the glass (yes, I'll take a large).
Galvin looks reserved from the outside, but the restaurant is actually a bustling classy French bistro. We went for a late Thursday lunch and I was pleasantly surprised to find nearly every table full. My friend recommended "anything with red meat" and so I ordered the beef with macaroni and cheese. Needless to say, this was not the way my grandmother might have made it, but a million times better (sorry Gran). The beef was served rare and thinly sliced, and the macaroni was more like a lasagna layered with exquisite French cheese. And of course it was swimming in a lake of red wine goodness.
Surprisingly the lunch prices weren't too bad (my main was 14.50 for an enormous portion - I barely ate half) and the service was by no means rushed. It almost felt like we were escaping for an afternoon to Paris.
I love bistro in Paris. Galvin de luxe is the one to have a quality food without traveling to Paris. I had pork belly with creamy mash. Best pork dish I ever had!
Pretty darn good. My friend's dad visited London and took us here for dinner, so I really can't attest to the total cost -- although I do remember that mains range from £15-30, and appetizers from about £8-12. I had the endive/walnut/roquefort salad, with lamb tangine -- i know, i know, lamb tangine at a french restaurant? That's what I said, and that's why I ordered it -- out of morbid curiosity. but OH MY GOD it was SOOOO good.
You don't have to be a food snob to recognize the quality of the food at this place, and it does have an authentic underlying French feel/taste to its food. Quality in both the selection of ingredients and preparation. I'd hit it again.
Great food, excellent prices, fun vibe - but service could stand to improve. The waitstaff was perfectly pleasant and informative, but our meal was beset by delays between courses. Appetizers took 30 minutes to arrive; Mains arrive an hour after that.
The food itself - best described as bistro fare with a "twist" - was delicious. My order of Crab Lasagne (a stacked noodle, crab, and prawn dish in covered with a herb butter sauce) tasted rich and fresh; the real winner among the appetizers though, was the Escargot. The flavors and textures of the dish jogged memories of past trips to Paris and Burgundy.
My Barbary duck main, with braised endive and liver crostini was also accompanied by a delicious roast fig. Again, the combination of flavors was fantastic and the food near-perfectly (I felt that the endive was overcooked and oversauced - but no complaints apart from this small one). The Angus Beef Filet, ordered by a friend, looked delicious and was corroborated by him as so too.
Le Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is definitely worth a visit. After 5 years of eating in Manhattan - it seems that NYC bistro restauranteurs could take a page from the more inventive casual French cooking of Le Galvin. Perhaps they could reciprocate by sharing some tips on service. Then, we'd have winners on both sides of the Atlantic.
Well well. I'm glad someone else has given this 5 stars: I wanted to, but my puritan soul rebels against the summa cum laude. Now I can do it with impunity.
Galvin is a family effort: as Paul says, the brothers Galvin revitalised the tired old Orrery on Marylebone High Street and then moved their considerable talents to this restaurant. They have a couple of other ventures under the same name, but this is the one that I know and love.
It is quintessentially French bistro in style. The dining room is a long L-shape and deceptively big. That's all you get on interior layout, because I can't hold back any longer: I'm going to rhapsodise about the food.
It's sumptuous. It's delicious, it's perfectly cooked, it's well thought-out, and it's simple. It's one of the few top-end restaurants I know that will feed you to the gills, as well: no stinting on the portions at Galvin. And it's... well, the best way I can describe the food is hearty. Big chunks of veal kidney, roasted duck with confit, and classic desserts like creme brulee (sorry, can't find accents on this keyboard) or chocolate fondant. Go. Definitely go. If you're going at the weekend, book well in advance: it can get very very busy. Oh yes, and they made me an excellent Martini last time, too.
One final thing: the wine list is 98% French. Not that I'm complaining, and it's nothing to be surprised about in a French bistro, but it's something to be aware of. The sommelier, oddly enough, was Italian. Maybe she's managed to introduce a Barolo or two since my last visit.
This is absolutely On The List now. I was a big fan of Orrery, and Galvin is flawlessly done, unfussy French food.
The best bit is it's extremely mid-range pricewise, so you can get one of the best dishes you'll have all year for less than £20. They have a £15.50 set lunch which is just stupendous value for the quality of cooking on display.
There aren't many quality French brasseries in this price bracket, and you can very easily get food half as good for twice as much in this part of town.
Understated brilliance. Check it out. And make sure you're drinking: the wine is perfect.
I was looking for somewhere special to celebrate and qype recommended this to me: it was just perfect.
It is expensive, but good value for what you get. Romantic, classy atmosphere. Our 3 favourite dishes of the night were: crab lasagne, lamb tagine and pear tarte tatin: all sensational.
Used their online reservation system and made a special request for a drink order to be waiting at the table. They acknowledged this request only after we had been seated which is an automatic star deduction. I understand it is a gamble for them to make a drink or two & set them on a table because the customer may not show up etc, but it's just a couple of drinks. This is the kind of service that sets apart a truly great restaurant from a good one and also why I am being a jerk about it. I don't mind paying good money for my meals or even paying exorbitantly, but I do expect the level of service to be commensurate with my cost and being the customer I figure if I want to have drinks waiting for me & my wife when we sit down then that really isn't too much to ask...
In typical French fashion the service was a bit on the slow side even when the place was pretty much empty on our arrival.
All my complaining aside the real reason we were there of course is to eat and let me tell you, the food was absolutely fantastic! Starting with the crab lasagne you simply know more good things are sure to come... Everything placed on the dish was paired with items that either complemented or contrasted seamlessly with every other component for both taste & texture and all of it cooked to perfection. One item that really stood out was some sort of celery puree. I have never had anything like it in my entire life and it will never cease to be on the forefront of my tastebuds. The apple tart dessert was the only regret of the evening as I feel I could have made a better choice rather than relying on the waiters suggestion, but that's my fault not his.
A very nice French bistro - excellent atmosphere and classic French service.
I thought the waiters were too pushy when it came to constantly trying to flog us bottles of mineral water - otherwise very nice.
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is but one member of the Galvin group of restaurants, an enterprise launched by Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff. Spanning the restaurant vertical's breadth of wallet sizes, the Galvin group offers the affordable Bistrot de Luxe right through to Galvin at Windows, which has just earned a Michelin Star in 2010.
Well, clearly we went the way of the paupers because not only did we dine at Bistrot de Luxe, we flexed our GFC muscles and went for the £17.50 set dinner, a three course (dual option) menu which although thrifty, I'd heard was very very good.
Starter choices were between a velouté of Brittany cauliflower (aka cauliflower soup) and a œuf sur le plat à la Basquaise (aka baked eggs).
The baked eggs were very tasty not quite so Lantana breakfast-style, a little more exotic with caramelised onions and sweet peppers. And the soup was a rich, creamy concoction of well, cauliflowers (just callin' it like I see it).
Main options were poached chicken, turnip choucroute & juniper beurre blanc or roast pollock, tomato fondue, clams & mussels.
Most of us chose to have the pollock because we thought the chicken would be all breast and y'know, breast meat, yuck. But actually the chicken turned out to be surprisingly tender and the butter sauce was just sinful. Sinful.
The pollock was also a good option, thick, meaty, soft but with a crispy skin. The tomato fondue with clams and mussels was a perfect sauce.
Onto dessert and our options were buttermilk panna cotta with poached rhubarb or brie de Meaux with walnut & raisin loaf.
The panna cotta was, in my humble opinion, very effing delicious. The right amount of gelatinous wobble married with thick creamy custard/cream/ buttermilk-whatever. I'm not a pro but I loved the panna cotta, and paired with the tartness of the rhubarb? Divine.
The cheese was cheese, I didn't actually taste any, but the cheese person my friend Loreen sat and smiled and munched on her cheese and bread very happily.
We finished off the meal with pots of tea, served in uniquely painted little tea cups. Totally cute.
So all in all I thought it was a good meal. Wow factor? Hmmm, even for a bistro, it doesn't really compare to the likes of Eastside Inn Bistro, but then again, it was also less than half the price.
You get what you pay for and here, you get good, simple unpretentious food. Can't really complain for under £20 a head.
Since I got a new job I figured the best way to celebrate it was to take my girlfriend to a classy restaurant so we can have a great night out. We chose Galvin as we both love french cuisine and felt like treating us to some great wine. The place itself is certainly not big but sure has exquisite looks and that authentic french charm that I find really appealing. We started with a Escabèche of Yellow fin tuna & herb salad for me and my girlfriend had the Lasagne of Dorset crab. I don't really have to tell you that both dishes were perfectly cooked. And I would like to point out the fact that I have a slight food allergy and staff was more than willing to attend to my personal needs regarding the exclusion of certain ingredients from the meals I was having. We closed the night with two of their fine desserts and some Chardonnay, Domaine Nordoc. It is indeed a little bit pricy but fully corresponds to the high level of quality that it offers.
I would definitely recommend it.
Really good French place. Excellent service and taste. Pretty much right on time although it was a week night. I had rump of Scottish beef, which came with a roasted bone full of marrow, it was sooo good. The other meal we had was lamb, it was also very successful with great roasted mini-eggplant addition. One slight downside was the tables right in front of the window were too close to each other and sometimes you couldn't help but listen to the others conversations. As a dessert, we had baba au rhum, and it was strong. We had a great experience here and I am so glad we got to try it during our trip.
We were a group of 8, 4 couples, and decided that e wanted one great meal while in London. Galvin Bistrot de Luxe DID NOT DISAPPOINT! What a fantastic meal we had! We had two great bottles of wine with us (received at our hotel as a gift from friends) and for a reasonable corkage fee, we decided to bring the bottle to dinner. WHile the wine certainly added to the overall wonderfulness of the meal, the food, service and ambiance were all perfect in every way. This is a place where you are treated well from beginning to end, the vibe is energetic but not too noisy, everything on the the menu was unique and delicious, and our round table for 8 was perfect for enjoying each others' company! If you want one great experience while in London, dine at Galvin Bistor de Luxe on Baker Street the next time you are in London!
This is a very smart restaurant. Like a French Bistro but probably five times as expensive. The chefs used to be at Michelin starred Orrery. Very well cooked food; simple and delicious. Bustling and busy for good reason.
A very good restaurant on Baker Street that I highly recommend to anyone willing to eat well and enjoy an agreable time with friends/ family!!
To put it in a nutshell, it's worth a try!
I've been here a few times over the years and would like to add to the above comments that beyond the excellent quality of food and extensive wine list, the consistent good service and friendly, helpful and knowlegable attitude of the staff really does Galvin credit. Oh, and having a yearly tradition of inviting one of my best friends here for her birthday dinner, please never change the silver crumb scrapers: she loves them!
Great food, great service, wine was unbelievably good value. Seasonal harvest menu was really good, and escargots are delicious in the shell.
Lovely place, deceptively big and yet maintains a sense of intimacy and bistro-iness.
I've lived in Paris and been to some great bistros. This place echos them, but at a cost.
Very good if entertaining others for lunch too.
Eight of us last went to Galvin's around a year ago. Some of our friends had not been before and were delighted to go. Lots of wine consumed and great food lovingly served. I think all of us had to have one of their fabulous puddings. I am salivating as I write and can't think why it has taken time to go back, nothing terrible and will go again soon. I really must.
Excellent wine and food. I'd certainly recommend the venue and shall be returning.
terrific food without being over-pretentious. this is one of the best restaurants in london and i expect it will be hugely credit crunch proof mainly because it eschews all the nonsense that more expensive restaurants cite to justify their ridiculously high prices. the starters and main courses do not make use of hugely expensive cuts of meat or rare fish - they just keep it simple and trust the chefs to create something genuinly delicious. they do this very well each and every time and i will keep coming here every month for the next few years i expect.
This is exactly the same restaurant as the other listing for Bistro de luxe. See that for all the reviews.
This is a gem - a classy, upmarket restaurant, with pleasant ambience, friendly service and excellent food. Although busy, we did not find the noise level from adjacent conversation excessive, as in some other restaurants. The wine list is indeed mostly French and includes some top quality expensive wines but also some that are very reasonably priced. Our meal was a pleasure from start to finish.
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