My mum took me and my sisters here on Saturday to celebrate my step-father's 70th. We could not have been better looked after from breadbasket to bill. It was just the right ambience with a light hubble bubble of conversation, stunning modern art and a smart, international crowd. The French waiters add to the authenticity, the food was immaculately prepared, the flavours there but not overpowering. Drinks pricey but hey this is Soho.
A pudding and candle prompted the whole restaurant to sing happy birthday to Julian.
I eat around Soho quite a lot, but never noticed this restaurant until my friend made a booking. I was excited to try it, but the experience was a bit underwhelming. Judging by the name, I thought it was a French restaurant, but I found fish pie on the menu, which screamed British. Not that I have any problem with it, just a bit unexpected. We ordered the name sake dish escargot and foie gras to share. They were good, but nothing special. I had a hard time picking my main, not because there are too many dishes that I wanted to try, but because none of dishes jumped out at me. At last, I ordered sea bass with fennel. It was cooked in parchment paper which a cooking method I really like. The fish was good and the sauce played really well with the taste of fennel. The service was not very attentive. Considering all the choices in Soho area, I will not come back here.
L'Escargot stands apart from everything else on Greek St as a fancy restaurant. It looks like it used to be a house in the West End which has been converted into a restaurant. We were welcomed by the friendly staff and taken to a corner booth for two: the best restaurant seating arrangement!
The restaurant was surprisingly empty, but it may have been because this was the Monday of a long weekend. We were well looked after by the staff, whom I found to be friendly and attentive. It sounds funny to write this, but if the restaurant were closer to full, I feel it would have been a better atmosphere and experience.
We had a main, sides, dessert and a drink each. We also got complimentary breads and unexpected petits fours with our bill. The total bill was just over £100, which felt a little on the high side, but still within the range you would expect for this kind of restaurant.
I enjoyed my main course of beef with foie gras and spinach - it was very tasty and satisfying. My wife got the lobster linguine, which tasted nice, but seemed like it could be easily replicated at home. I got the tarte tartin for dessert, which is one of my trusted favourites, and I was happy with this. The petits fours were ok, but one of them tasted a bit funny.
On the whole, there were good parts which were offset by some average parts. This is why I have given a 3-star rating.
L'Escargot is an institution in Soho, standing for good quality classical French cooking. The menu will consist of words like roulade, terrine and croustillant. However, don't worry as the staff are friendly and will help you with any explanations as required.
There is actually 2 restaurants on this site - the posher Picasso Room and the cheaper (relatively!) Ground Floor Restaurant. My sister and I took a friend to the ground Floor restaurant recently
It's certainly a dressy place though ties and jackets aren't compulsory. The decor is very clean and crisp in keeping with the best traditions of the food
Of the starters, I think I enjoyed my tian of crab and avocado best with the lightest dressing enhancing the sweet crab. The escargots en coquille Bordelaise was nice but I don't think sauce Bordelaise is the favourite of my French sauces. The roulade of Scottish smoked salmon, beetroot and apple salad was a nice combination of ingredients and flavours
For mains, my roasted guinea fowl a la Forestiere had a lovely gamey flavour - I always think it's a waste to eat chicken when dining out but game birds are a different kettle of fish. Sis had the duck breast and pak choi with ruby chard - this was cooked perfectly. Our friend had the ribeye steak - cooked medium, it was a tender piece of meat.
For dessert, I persuaded my dining companions to help me with a treacle tart with clotted cream parfait and honeycomb. Nice to see an English pudding creep onto the menu and very delicious it was too.
It won't be a cheap meal but you certainly feel like you've had a fine dining experience here
Presentation and service was great, but the food doesn't really live up to expectations, which made the whole experience seem way overpriced. Quite disappointing.
For all the hype surrounding Marco Pierre White, I've never been to one of his restaurants before. Last week, a friend suggested we go to L'Escargot, and I'm glad as I feel I now understand why he has such a fanboy-like following within the British press (well, the food critics anyway...).
Tucked inside a beautiful marble entrance hall, we went to the first of two restaurants on site. The one on the ground floor is an interesting mix of Parisian design, bright yellow walls and Mediterranean décor.
I sat in the corner and admired the place as a smiling waiter poured me some water and I waited. I was hardly dressed for the occasion (don't tell my mother I wore sandals and an army shirt to a Michelin-starred restaurant), but hey, we were in the middle of Soho and it looked like the staff were used to it.
Menu-qise, even though I was practically bullied into three courses, I just had a main and a dessert. I went for this (hooray for PDF menus on the website!): Confit of Gressingham Duck Leg, Morteaux Sausage, Choucroute, Ratte Potatoes, Jus Genièvre. It was very nice, the meat fell of the bone and I barely had to cut it, though it was a little salty for my liking.
Afterwards, I had an orange tart. I've never had an orange tart, but it was served with a blackcurrant sorbet that kicked my taste-buds into shape and tasted like summer itself. Gorgeous.
Great espresso and service that didn't exactly impress, but didn't irritate either. This goes on my 'perfect for a long lunch and a chat' list. Menu du jour at £15 for two and £19 for three courses as well, so a decent price to boot.
I've been going to this high end eatery for years, although back in those days it was always on a nice fancy company expense account. However, of all the places I was able to go to, I always said, and have since proved, it was the one I'd spend my own money at.
Although the days of 'Nouvelle Cuisine' are long gone, thank god even before my time, it's a sort of standing joke when you go to some places and find the portion size can be somewhat on the small size. What annoys me the most is that you go to a restaurant and order steak or fish or whatever and if you want more than just a piece of, admittedly, well cooked meat, you have to order side dishes of everything else to avoid coming out and racing off to the nearest McD's.
So how delighted was I when I first went there and found you not only got a high end dining experience, appetisers anyone? But you could still get a well presented meal with the additions included automatically. OK so you still get things piled on top of each other but hey if you want things too plain eat at home. But once finished you feel full without being bloated and without a cheque to cripple small countries.
OK, so the wine list does range from the acceptable to the eye watering, but then I see this as really just catering to all sides.
The surroundings are lovely and definitely make you feel like you're eating somewhere special.
Plus the best thing, go for lunch or pre-theatre menu's and you can get some very reasonable prices.
I love this place and now having written this feel rather hungry :)
Ever since I read Marco Pierre White's autobiography, "The Devil In The Kitchen" and learned he was the not only the youngest to ever receive 3 Michelin stars, but the first to achieve this victory three times, I was hell bent on experiencing his culinary talents. Mr. White, as I understand it, is now a restauranteur proper and has long since stepped away from his kitchens (in the chef sense), however I figured if he was going to keep his name on something, it must be up to his award winning (and notoriously impossible to achieve) standards, right?
When we walked into what seemed like it was once a private residence, we were greeted by two pleasant hostesses who sat us at our table in the rear dining room straight away. The decor where we were seated (there is a more casual seating area in the front of restaurant near the bar) had a very late 90's art nouveau feel and reminded me a lot of the restaurant in American Psycho where a visibly irritated Christian Bale dumps his girlfriend whilst sketching an image of a murder he's just committed. This I liked.
For our starters we ordered the frogs legs which arrived with the standard green sauce and of course the escargot (when in Rome) accompanied by a half bottle of Veuve. In both cases the dishes were anticlimactic at best, but could have potentially been great had they not forgotten to season them and/or leave some salt at the table should we prefer a little more flavor.
Our entrees were okay (lamb and filet) - but nothing I wouldn't be able to achieve at home as again, they were generally just lacking the flavor and extra oomph you can't get on your own stove top. We ordered a bottle of Bordeaux to accompany this course.
I will say that the food here is priced affordable (providing you don't order wine by the bottle(s)), but the service leaves a little to be desired as we waited nearly ten minutes for them to clear our appetizer plates away. The staff for the most part is very young and perhaps not as experienced as one would expect.
I wouldn't recommend or return to L'Escargot for dinner, but I would give it another shot for a late, casual lunch and would certainly give any other MPW place it's day in court.
So here is the story of how I ended up dining in L'Escargot one night last month.
A friend and I had gotten all dressed up 1950's style for a fancy dress in a nearby venue only to find out on arrival that we had got the date mixed up.
So there we were all dressed up and nowhere to go, my friend suggested we go for a really posh dinner to make up for the blunder and what better place to go for a posh dinner than L'Escargot.
As we walked in the hall we were greeted by a lady sitting behind a desk who took our coats. We got a table no problem as it was mid week so it wasn't very busy (there was one other couple and four business men)
Our waitress walked us to our seats and handed us menus, she even put our napkins on our laps.
I had the avocado and crab meat starter which was delicious and for mains I had steak washed down with a nice full bodied red wine.
The interior is art deco style, cream and white walls with Miro and Matisse prints hung all around the dining room.
The service was great, food delectable, all in all a memorable evening.
I think I could get used to fine dining more often.
Food was good, but the service was slow.
Basically there is not a lot to add to the other reviews, except to confirm that this is the classic French dining experience, with excellent food and impeccable service - with both sommeliers and bread waiters.
What I particularly like is that they always have a decent vegetarian option, so mixed groups which include a veggie can enjoy a high class French dining experience (something not always possible in France).
A good way to experience L'Escargot without breaking the bank is to go for the daily set menu, at £15 for 2 courses or £18 for 3 courses, available at lunch times (12-14:30), pre theatre (17:30-19:00) and post theatre (22:00-23:15). Service charge is 12.5%.
Two stars based on disappointment rather than quality.
The food just didn't cut it. If it weren't for a special offer we all had, this wouldn't have been worth the money by a long shot.
Still good just. Not £55-per-person-without-wine good.
Oh. And what's up with the disco dinosaur head?
At the top end of the league table, L'Escargot is a more formal destination for excellent French food. First opened in the 1920s its been a Soho landmark ever since. The likes of Jancis Robinson & Marco Pierre-White have contributed to the restaurants success over the years,
Attentive service, attention to detail, classic French table service (Sommelier etc.) this is definitely a special occasion destination. I've been lucky enough to visit several times and have experienced the main restaurant, a small private room & the top floor "Barrell Vault" private area. Everytime the service & food has been outstanding, but you'd expect nothing less for a Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect the highest quality terrines, foie gras, escargot to start with roast duck, pork or lamb for main course. All rounded off with tarts, souffles or brulees. A pre-theatre menu lets you dine out on 3 courses for less than £25 which is excellent value.
Came here for a business dinner last week and tried the lower dining room rather than its Michelin starred sister upstairs. Despite the white table cloth set up the ambiance was relaxed & unstuffy (loved the art-deco feel) and the place was buzzing even at 7pm.
We had the crab & avocado starter (layered, terrine style) and I had the wild mushroom & artichoke strudel for main, both of which were very good full of flavour and surprisingly light (was concerned the strudel might smack of the Cornish pasty but not a bit of it). My companion had the chicken with artichoke and parma ham, which looked great, and on checking out the next door table I'll be ordering the scallops & lamb next time around.
Took a while to navigate the menu (all for authenticity but when you can't understand the staff enough to tell your oeufs from your moules it can get a bit frustrating) but overall the service was excellent and our waiter think young Gerard Depardieu with a sprinkling of Jean Reno gave us extra petite fortes so we left happy! Sucker moi?
The (heavenly) wine list is bible sized fabulous if you're a real connoisseur, not so fabulous if you're a mere mortal wanting to order before next Christmas so request the edited version if this is an issue. Or ask the sommelier for help v. approachable and there's nothing that man doesn't know about grapes.
At around £8-12 for a starter and £15-25 for a main, this is a great way to try out one of Soho's grande dames without breaking the bank.
This is a lovely french restuarant. I went many years ago when I worked in Soho Square and recently my husband took me back in October. The food is obviously french and you will obviously find snails on the menu but there is a wide varied choice. I did not think that the food was overly expensive especially for London. The wine list was huge and there were some good choices that wont break the bank.
A lovely atomosphere - intimiate and excellent service. I would go back again.
This restaurant was very peaceful and quite. The decor was pretty different with a T Rex head skeleton with a gold finish and Crystal like teeth. It was huge but eye appealing. The waiters where very friendly and very tentative with filling our glasses with water and wine. The escargot was yummy. More buttery here than Switzerland and France. I also had a regular salad which was not so ordinary. I also had the Duck breast with Fig. Omg that was so juicy. I made myself finish my plate and just passed on finishing my wine and dessert. There was also a prefix lunch and dinner that was real affordable and decent.
Meh is right
Food was average at best. I expect more than edible for £60 a head and I having just having been to a Michelin started restaurant also in London, I was shocked this place had ever had one.
The oysters were not very nice and my fish main (sole) might as well have been frozen fish sticks with some asparagus. My husband agreed on the oysters, though enjoyed his lamb. The dessert was nice, but that was about it. The service was good the the golden tyranosaurus rex with crystal teeth interesting.
Really classy and great French food. Perfect place to take your parents or a posh dinner date! Service is immaculate too. There are no surprises here, it's just all very reliable and comfortable Rrench classic food. Well-priced wine list with Oh, and the lunch and pre theatre menus are amazing value.
L'Escargot serves excellent French dishes, the food is classic, delicious, beautifully presented and authentic.Even a French colleague told me it was one of the best French restaurant he had ever been too.The staff is very polite and attentive, the interior is really impressive,worth coming on a special occasion.
My work colleagues and I visitied L'Escargot yesterday for our Christmas do. Unfortunately, there is a stomach bug going round our office and our party was reduced in sixe by half, with most of the hangers-on not 100% healthy. Not only did this make for a less than festive atmosphere, we had booked the large private room. At times it seemed very echoey with the large table and high ceiling amplifying the effect of feeling very far away from each other. Having said all that, I think I would have been disappointed by the experience even if we had eaten downstairs in the normal area, or if we had all been on top form. The reason is that the food was just not that exciting, certainly nothing to write home about and not justifying the high price tag (although I wasn't paying on this occasion). I had crab salad, which was passable, followed by sole fillets which came in a bland sauce. After that I had creme brulee, which again was only OK. The comments among the rest of my colleagues were similar - they were disappointed. The service too, was much too nervous and hyperactive, with the head waiter fritting around behind our backs and not leaving us in peace to chat and enjoy our course in peace. Not a good experience, but I'm sure L'Escargot can be fun with the right crowd, room and menu.
fabulous french restaurant, go for the set meals if on a budget they are very good value
too noisey and overcrowded very uncomfortable
Always a pleasure to dine here. Never disappoints. Brilliant.
Great restaurant. I throughly enjoyed my meal- I had; foie gras starter (would recommend to anyone- maybe apart from vegetarians :0) ) scallops mains followed by the cheese selection. All very tasty! Everyone I was with enjoyed their meals, overall the service was good without being over-bearing and the wine was reasonably priced. The restaurant itself is quite art-deco and has some fantastic mirrors- as well as a few rather fabulous paintings- to include a few Picasso sketches, a Warhol and Matisse. Definately worth a visit
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