Definitely one of the best meals I've had in my entire life! Everything we had was amazing from the lobster mousse with caviar starter to dessert. The foie gras was silky and smooth, the beef with bone marrow was incredible and all of the dishes were so beautiful to look at. We were hoping that this restaurant really was as good as the hype and we were not disappointed.
We came here as a special treat to celebrate my wife's birthday. The whole experience makes you feel like a VIP - the location in Mayfair, the perfect attention to detail and impeccable service. When you are downstairs in the dining room surrounded by such luxury, it's easy to forget about any stress in your life.
We each had a glass of Gosset champagne, which was delicious. We had a look through the wine "bible" and had some expert assistance from the sommelier who answered our queries on pomerot and the bordeaux region before recommending a very nice red wine (Lasseque 2004). At all points, you could ask anyone about aspects of the meal and they would know the answer.
We chose to order a la carte. I got the langoustines/escargot as the entree and the rabbit for the main. My wife got the duck tartare for her entree and the veal for the main. All of these dishes were tasty, but some things about them were not up to 5-star quality. I found the crunchy noodle part of my main made it difficult to eat without spilling it off my fork. Components were also very salty - it felt like eating cheese and onion crisps. My wife really enjoyed her main although, to her, the veal came out closer to medium-well, rather than medium-rare as she ordered. Some of the components of her entree seemed like they didn't fit, but the tartare itself was very good. Small points, to be sure, but you have a very high expectation when you come to a two-michelin star restaurant.
I got the chocolate amedei mousse for dessert and my wife chose the chef's tasting plate. Mine was very very chocolate, which was a decadent delight. My wife enjoyed all of the components of her plate and I was lucky to be able to sample all of them. Husband's prerogative, I guess! (However, I silently screamed when I noticed that this dessert tasting plate was almost £40 on its own.)
I have to stress that the service was perfect and the staff really made the night enjoyable for us. It felt effortless on the part of the servers, but it shows that they really have the best people working there, who appear to enjoy what they do. The overall cost was just over £340, but I didn't feel like we had overpaid.
Some of the best service I have ever encountered at any restaurant. Overall this place is amazing. The ambiance is not what you'd expect from a 2 star Michelin restaurant in terms of lavishness like in Las Vegas. Instead this place is all about the details. From the silverware, to the glasses, to cheese presentation. Everything here is 5 stars.
We did the tasting menu here and it was the only way to go. You'll get to see what the world reclaimed chef can really do through the numerous courses. We also went with a half bottle of white, cointreau viognier, which AMAZING and a French Paulliac for dinner. The wine list here is vast and the somiller was more than happy to help us and keep us in reasonable price range.
This place is a special treat, don't take it for granted.
You could also be like me and forget to wear a jacket (they are required), but don't worry they will provide one for you with the a "La Gavroche" stitching on the front to insure that everyone will know that you were the rookie that forgot to wear one! oops!
I'll be back!!!!
I finally got to come back to Le Gavroche, again for a birthday. A big birthday, as befits a big bill, ahem, I mean, dining experience.
Five of us had the tasting menu and what can I say that hasn't already been said? Everything was wonderful - a couple of us struggled with the snail dish, but not me, the unbelievable hollandaise that came with it was good enough to bathe in. In fact I hoovered up an extra snail.
A couple of warnings - beware the bread, and beware the cheese! We went nuts on the cheese trolley (that was all five of us yelling comte! simultanenously...it lived up to our high expectations) and I have NEVER been so full in my life. The dishes are small but deceptively rich. There are three sets of petit fours, and we had to take two home!
Our first bottle of white wasn't knock-your-socks-off, but the bottle of red the sommelier recommended was absolutely delicious - chocolate and pepper and everything she promised, and it went grandly with the venison.
There was only one teeny tiny (literally) thing we didn't like - a teeny tiny radish that sat next to the foie gras parfait. It was so bitter it took your breath away. But the parfait and confit carrot (how do you confit a carrot?!) took your breath away for the other reason - it tasted amazing.
Seven stars.... I wish I could eat here every day, though I would die of a heart attack very very quickly.
They even stuck a candle in my baba and wrote happy birthday in chocolate - what more could a girl want?
I came here for the famous Gavroche set lunch menu. Everything was very impressive---the service, the food, the silverware ;) haha. Michel Roux Jr. even came out to say hello to us, which was a pleasant surprise!
Classic french cuisine. Clientele was pretty old and stuffy (as was the interior decoration) but who else would you expect to be having a 3-hour tasting lunch on a Wednesday?
The only thing preventing me from giving a 5 star rating is that none of the dishes really made a strong impression on me. Don't get me wrong, the food was delicious and really very well executed, but I guess nothing was particularly inventive? Perhaps it is the nature of the lunch.... I will have to find an opportunity to come back for the dinner tasting menu.....
Possibly the biggest Yelp let-down of my life. I purposefully didn't write this review immediately because I wanted to compare Le Gavroche to some other restaurants in London first. The problems began because the reservations lady misinformed me as to when they would stop serving the tasting menu. This was supposed to be our first and nicest dinner during our London trip, and I got into an argument with the snooty and obnoxious maitre d' as to what had happened. They did end up serving us the food, but this made for a very unpleasant beginning to the evening, and I honestly felt bad for the other staff who was clearly embarrassed by the MD's behavior.
I am only giving this three stars instead of two because of the extremely friendly and competent demeanor of some of the staff, such as the two female sommeliers and the young man in charge of the cheese tray and other matters. I say this because not only was the maitre d' unpleasant, but the food was not up to snuff for a place of this caliber. Many of the dishes were boring and some over-salted for my taste. I liked the seafood appetizer and various elements here and there, but when even your foie gras is mediocre, something is wrong.
I am really torn about writing this review because I suspect many staff members, including cooks, worked hard on our meal and had to deal with the aftermath of the reservation lady's mistake and MD's attitude. But at the end of the day, you can't charge these prices unless your food is impeccable. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London can pull it off, as can Bouley in NYC. These guys, not so much.
When I come back to London, I'll make sure to book another reservation here at Le Gavroche.
On my visit here, I came in at 10pm since that was the only time alloted for 1 person. I wanted the "Menu Exceptionnel" and they were ok in giving me this 9 course meal especially this late at night. I paired that with the wine and it was perfect.
Although, it did feel that they had to rush me since it was obvious that the workers wanted to go home. But what can you do?
But anyways, regardless of what time your reservation is, go for the "Menu Exceptionnel" with the wine pairing.
Started off with the Cheese Souffle cooked on Double Cream. My first bite gave me that shock and awe moment. I knew then that my experience here was going to be a great one.
The same goes for course 2 through 9. But I'm not going to write a dissertation on every course. But I did enjoy the cheese cart and yes, I got some macarons at the end.
The ambiance here is great. The paintings on the walls alone would make me come back. They even have a few prints by Picasso too. So you're getting fine dining and some culture as well. And as a gift, you get to keep the really cool menu too. After all, it's hard enough to hear the French/British accent when they announce your meal to you throughout the evening so at least you now know what you ate throughout the evening.
Jackets are required, ties are optional. Make sure your credit card can handle tonight's main event. Because remember, it's in pounds, not dollars. And on your way out at the lobby, there is more free stuff you can get too including books and magazines.
Michelin 2 stars 2012.
Visiting London this past September, my family and I wanted to experience a wonderful meal which led us to Le Gavroche. This historic, Michelin 2-star restaurant was first opened by Michel and Albert Roux and now Albert's son, Michel Jr. runs the kitchen with mastery. The restaurant is very elegant and traditional in its decor. The color green is the dominant color I have to say. Service is sublime in that every server is attentive to the utmost detail. Now onto the food, in which we had the Menu Exceptionnel.
-Lobster Salad w/ Mango, Avocado, Basil, and Lime: Deliciously light and refreshing. The flavors of the dish were bright and vibrant. I enjoyed the tender piece of lobster tail meat seated atop a piece of endive accompanied by small dice of sweet mango and buttery avocado. Definitely a winner.
-Souffle Suissesse: One of the classic dishes of Le Gavroche. It's light, airy, cheesy, and temperature-wise definitely hot so be careful. The cream sauce that the souffle is sitting in makes you feel like perhaps you should see a cardiologist afterwards. Sinfully good.
-Grilled Diver Caught Scallop, Spicy Aubergine, Fennel Pollen, and Parsley Coulis: Scallop was carefully grilled and therefore juicy and tender. The aubergine aka eggplant was OK only because I'm not a big fan of eggplant. Parsley coulis didn't really add much to the dish.
-Hot Duck Foie Gras w/ Grapes and Crispy Duck Pancake Flavored w/ Cinnamon: The duck foie gras was luxurious. I love foie gras and it was seared perfectly. The crispy duck pancake was a bit odd as it was a savory dish that felt like a dessert. A bit too much cinnamon and sweetness for my taste.
-Tender Braised Beef in Red Wine, Parsnip Puree, Cepes Mushrooms and Bacon: A very comforting dish that similar to good ol' meat and potatoes. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and just fell apart when you cut it with your fork. The red wine sauce was hearty and the parsnip puree was a nice twist on the mashed potatoes component. And huge chunks of bacon. Everything is exponentially better with bacon.
-Selection of French and British Farmhouse Cheeses: I had a few slivers of cheese but was not a big fan. Not because they weren't great but because I'm not a connoisseur of fine cheeses.
-Rich Amedei Chocolate Truffle Scented w/ Rum and Praline Crisp: Decadent and rich chocolate in a small cylindrical shape. And yes you can taste a bit of rum in there. Praline crisp was so-so. It added a nice textural component to the dessert.
-Classic Upside Down Caramelized Apple Tarte w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: This dessert I was too big a fan of. The top part was slightly over-caramelized and therefore mildly burnt-tasting. The crust was too chewy and hard to cut with my spoon. The vanilla ice cream was good though but overall nothing spectacular about this dessert.
We were seated across from the automatic sliding glass door in which staff would enter and exit the kitchen. As I was having my coffee, I see the door open and Michel Roux Jr. coming out like as if exiting his spaceship into the dining area. At the beginning of the meal, we had asked our maitre d' if he could sign a copy of the menu that was on our table. He then came to our table and greeted us and asked how our meal was. Then he signed our menu and he even graciously agreed to have a couple pictures taken with us.
Overall, it was a great experience with classical French food. It's not a place where you'll find innovative dishes but it sticks to what it knows and what dishes have stood through the test of time. For 3 people it came out to £340 or about $600. A wonderful meal and a nice way to end our stay in London.
Blew. me. away. Completely and utterly.
My husband and I were lucky enough to eat at Le Gavroche, courtesy of my dad who kindly bought some vouchers for my hubby's birthday present (and of course, it was a birthday present for two!). It was the perfect meal.
From the moment we arrived, the service was impeccable (and not overbearing at all). The main dining floor is downstairs (which means really rubbish mobile reception, and consequently, no annoyingly loud phone conversations). Even the cutlery has been designed specially for Le Gavroche (cute little soldier and jester handles).
We had the tasting menu, which means you get to try 5-6 (or more, I sort of lost count...) dishes. The standout dish for me was langoustine and snail dish - really, really amazing. You have to taste it to believe it! The main course is a beef dish, which is served at the side of the table and placed very delicately and precisely onto your plate. (I've since been told that the signature dish is the chocolate fondant, which we didn't have. And now I have the perfect excuse to come back! I hope my husband is reading this...)
I have to say, we were very starstruck. I spotted Michel Roux Jr coming in and out of the kitchen 3-4 times (but my husband kept missing him!). At the end of the meal, Michel Roux Jr himself, came round and personally spoke to every table - thanking them for coming, asking if they had enjoyed my meal, which was a lovely touch and completely made our evening. Unfortunately, like I said, we were very starstruck and could barely make out the words "It was a really yummy meal"... But we honestly meant every word!!!
Ah, Le Gavroche, let me count the ways I love thee!
Your unbelievable canapés and amuse bouche.
The excellent (and reasonably-priced) house Champagne.
The elegant and not overly-stuffy decor - especially the beautiful sculptures made from silver cutlery.
Your unrivalled wine list, both for its sheer depth as well as the expertise from the sommelier which supports it.
The cheese soufflé - I have to take a change of underwear every time I eat it.
The otherwise flawlessly executed haute cuisine which doesn't suffer from being overly ambitious or fussy.
Your impeccable level of service, from lowliest busboy to Maitre d', everyone is unceasingly professional and attentive.
The Omelette Rothschild /sighs longingly.
Getting to have brief chat with Michel Jr. every time I am there (and apparently the ability to see the kitchen if you ask nicely).
Your superbly priced fixed lunch menu.
Deeply tempted to write a 3000-word poem about how wonderful Le Gavroche is, but a concise summary should convey the same thing, without wasting all the time that you should spend leaping to the nearest telephone in order to make a reservation. Everything here is at the top of its game, from front of house and waiters to chefs and buyers.
I would counsel only one warning about this place which is that if you do go with the tasting menu at least one of the courses won't be any where near as good as the others ...
I still order the tasting menu most of the time and one day I hope not to be reminded of my own rule about this place ...
Wow, it actually feels pretty intimidating to review Le Gavroche. Is my prose sufficiently eloquent to do justice to a restaurant which has led the way in London fine dining over the last 45 (yes, forty five) years.
From the outside, the restaurant looks like a (very) nice house and if you didn't know what you were looking for you might miss it, especially in the day when it is not lit up.
The restaurant itself is partially underground which could feel a little claustrophobic. Instead it feels warm and relatively relaxed for a place where gentlemen are asked to wear a jacket. However, it is still pretty traditional. For example, in addition to needing to wear a jacket, if you come here (as a man) with a female date they won't see the price of the dishes on the menu - that sharp intake of breath is reserved for men only! A bit quirky but quite fun if you don't take it too seriously.
The food is why you come here. Classic French dishes delivered faultlessly. However wine lovers will have much to enjoy as well. A list which is bigger than many books awaits your perusal with expert guidance (thankfully) on hand to provide welcome recommendations if needed.
So, to the food. The stand out dish that I have had is the Soufflé Suissesse. This is a cheese souffle which is baked with double cream. No doubt this is horrifically bad for the diner's long term health. However, it tastes light and delicious. It is a dish that has stood the test of time, featuring on the a la carte menu for many many years. Almost all the food is served under cloches which results in some fab 'ceremonial' cloche lifting at the start of every course - super theatrical.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that although the a la carte menu is expensive, the midweek lunch menu represents excellent value and allows Le Gavroche to be experienced at a very reasonable cost (£51 per person including wine and coffee). You might even get to meet Michel Roux Jr!
Booking Le Gavroche made me feel like Patrick Bateman trying to get a reservation at Dorsia. I think Michel Roux Jnr's popularity yo-yo's like the stock market depending on the relative recency of professional Masterchef, and I stupidly tried to book immediately after the last series. (Maybe turning off my chainsaw before I called might not have scared the Maitre'd so much).
Nonetheless, I succeeded last week and six of us dined for lunch, taking advantage of the extremely reasonable £48 set menu. A starter of Venison carpaccio and spring salad was tasty but dull, prompting immediate food envy upon the arrival of somebody's poached pike in lobster sauce. A main of lamb offal however, was a delight, with delicately grilled tongue, fried sweetbreads and kidneys. To finish, a child-like delve into an extensive cheese board capped off a superb meal.
Spring water and a 1/2 bottle of wine are included in the price, as is all the pomp and necessity one would expect from such an old-school French establishment. Don't forget your dinner jacket gents and enjoy watching the 40-strong waiting staff navigate their way around the room without crashing into one another...although you'll have your fingers crossed the whole time that they do!
Sorry, can't compete with all the restaurants the previous reveiwer has visited, but this is my absolute favourite.
The food is consistently brilliant, varied and exciting. The staff are "simply the best" and it is difficult if not impossible to see how the place could be improved.
Not cheap, but then who would expect it to be?
Instead of going out for mediocre meals once a week, save up and do Le Gavroche once a month. You will not be disappointed
Le Gavroche is going to replace my current favorite "last meal on earth". The food is fabulous and the service is impeccable. My current favorite French restaurant in the world.
Yes. Classic evening, everything is done seamlessly and the staff could not be more accommodating.
Be prepared to bring your black AmEx b/c this level of culinarily lusciousness is not without its price, but if you're in London and looking for an exquisite, yet also comfortable, dining experience, Le Gavroche will not disappoint.
Yesterday I experienced heaven. For just over 3 hours, I sat in complete and utter bliss and witnessed the most exquisite service I have ever seen.
The service is so incredibly perfect that you don't even notice it happening. The waiters are so smooth and so seemless that you are never left wanting for anything- I have never experienced anything like it before. My glass was constantly full, though I never noticed it being filled and our napkins was always beautifully arranged when we came back from the bathroom, though no-one ever saw who did it.
To make things even more perfect, Michel Roux came over TWICE to see if we were enjoying our meal (we were more than enjoying it)
The menu is incredible but because my French is quite poor, the waiter was very helpful and pleased to take me through the menu and explain it throroughly (and he didn't make me feel embarassed for asking) The food was perfect. I had a shellfish soup to start with lobster, prawns,scallops and I think snails (though I am not entirely sure) and a game pie with artichoke hearts for a main course. The dessert selection was wonderful- I picked from a large trolley of sorbets and homemade ice creams, whilst my boyfriend had a rich chocolate log.
We were both very impressed with the amount of extra bits we both got- two types of amuse bouches and a large plate of some delicious petit fours.
La Gavroche is without doubt the best restaurant in London.
I have only eaten in this wonderful French restaurant once and as you would expect from a two starred Michelin rated restaurant is was a magical experience. From memory it is remarkably small inside which means that it feels very cosy and exclusive. Wonderfully elegant with all the right things in the right places you really will get a sense of grandeur and feel very special to be in such surroundings. The food is too die for and the wine simply exquisite. Now you would imagine that a place like this has to be expensive and it can be. That said you can choose from a fixed price menu, a seven course fixed price menu or go for the full blown a'la carte.
Then seven course meal was £95 which whilst that sounds expensive it is exceptional value for money to experience such food from such a chef in such a setting.
If you want the best in London, this has to be right up there.
I wish that I liked Le Gavroche more. It's a 'proper' restaurant with superb service and highly accomplished cooking, but.somehow the whole thing's a bit corporate; a bit dull and disappointing compared to the many French places that have much more elan. It's in nondescript block in Mayfair with a door that might harbour a hedge fund and there's a cramped reception desk where you and others arrivals will huddle uncomfortably before being moved into the bar - a nice bar but nothing special. But instead of being taken on into a bright, beautiful and interesting room (think the River Cafe, though the chairs are better here), you go down into a dark, green basement that feels as though it might be the home of mermaids.
I went in telling my companions that I was looking forward to tasting a superb 'reduction' sauce - which is really where French classical cooking stands out - but the waiter barely paused at my question before suggesting a salad. Even the dish that we eventually settled on - warm fois gras - was poorly sauced and the accompanying duck pancake almost too small to taste. The troncon de turbot was so-so - a far better one can be had at the Poisonnerie. But assiette du chef - the selection of patisserie - was justly feted, and spoons appeared as if by magic from all over the table heedless of the risk of contracting fell disease, to feast on it.
The restaurant was full - despite the £120 a head bill - which suggests that in such places 'recession' is a relative term. But it'll be another decade before I forget my disappointment and try again
This restaurant stands out for its outstanding food and an amazing experience. We visited at lunch, where the set menu offers superb value: it includes half a bottle of wine, mineral water and coffee, while you don't miss out on extras including an amuse bouche and petits fours. I was particularly impressed that there was a choice of wines on this menu.
The food is gorgeous: classical French cuisine with modern touches. Service is attentive and outstandingly good, while the surroundings are comfortable and classy (rather than light or contemporary). It's fun spotting little details like the 'gavroche' figure on cutlery handles and the cutlery sculptures on each table.
Altogether, a lovely experience and at lunch, one offering excellent value. I'm now tempted to return for dinner
I had my birthday meal there with my parents and oh my gosh what an epic feast we had!
We opted for the tasting menu and it was wine matched and I have never felt so drunk from eating out in my whole life but it was worth it.
Here is what I had and I can say that this has to be one of the most memorable meals I have ever experienced. It is worth visiting at least once in your life, but come starving and don't expect to leave early or be able to move after wards for that matter!
Our Amuse Bouche consisted of a Foie Gras Mousse and the tartlet thing which definitely had a bit of blue cheese in and has an airdried ham rose thing on top. I drank this with a Kir Royale.
The first course was some Foie Gras that had a gingerbread crust around the outside and some pickled walnuts and cherries. This was matched with a Sauternes which was very pleasant but a little on the rich side.
The second course (and quite possibly my favorite) was the tuna tartare which was served with a Cherry beer. I thought it was crazy at first as the tuna had flavours of sesame, coriander and chilli. But if you took a mouthful of the tuna, then had a sip of the beer something really interesting with the flavors happened. The cherry with the sesame actually worked and I never thought two such things would work.
The third course was some langoustines with some thinly sliced pigs trotters which looked like it had a mustardy sauce on top and then underneath it was a green puree and it was very light but nice. This was matched with a Gewurztraminer that had also been blended with something else to which I can't quite remember. But the wine was very clean tasting and did cut through the mustard in the sauce really well.
They then gave us a glass of champagne as there was a slight gap in next course arriving.
For the fourth course we had some sea bass with parsnips and shallots. Very very simple but was the best piece of seabass I have ever eaten. This was matched with a wine that all I remember was from south west france. (My alcohol intake at this point was a glass of champagne at a place I met my parents previously, then a kir royale now 3 glasses of wine and a glass of cherry beer...I had been drinking lots of water too)
The fifth course was a cheese and onion souffle which was like eating a cheesey cloud. You could hardly get it on the spoon as it was so light and this was served with another white, I think a riesling. This course was interesting but I personally thought it was a bit of cheese overkill, given we were going to have a cheese course as part of the tasting menu anyhow! But still it was pleasant enough and was a nice follow on from the sea bass and made a good prelude to the sixth course.
Sixth course was venison with some green peppercorns and cranberries and it was lovely. Really nice and cleansing to the palate after having the souffle. This came with a red wine which wasn't a malbec but had the very similar chocolately smokiness of a malbec but sat lightly on the stomach.
Then came the cheese course! I ate a small amount of cheese but for me the highlight of this was that they had my absolute favorite red wine ever. It was matched with a 2002 Pomerol which was divine! My Mum couldn't finish her Pomerol so I helped. As for cheeses they were all excellent and they had a really interesting variety on there but I was starting to feel absolutely stuffed.
Finally we had the dessert! Which was a very beautiful upside down caramalised apple tart. Their caramel sauce was sooooo good! The ice cream was beautiful too, very vanillery and I had a candle in mine with Happy Birthday on the plate and everyone sang it to me too. The alcohol consumed by then meant that there was no embarassment to be had anymore!
Then came some petit fours, I had a toffee covered gooseberry (and by watching how drunkenly romantic my parents were getting by then) I felt that was the most apt to have!
Went for lunch as a party of 6. They took a deposit from my card on booking, but as I am not known there & they are evidently full every day I think it fair.
Easy to find, and a nice welcome with a pleasant sit & gather area, where we were offered excellent nibbles. It was immediately apparent that this is a first class place where everyone is proud to work there and dedicated to being the best. They carry on Albert's dedication. I checked the wine list and could have chosen reasonably priced(considering where you are) from the nearly all French list. Downstairs indeed to a smart and comfortable room with nicely spaced tables. We had chosen the 'set' lunch, which is excellent value, and plenty of choices with wine included and good ones to boot. We started at 1 and left at 4.15, no hurry.
I won't go into the detail as other reviewers correctly describe the food as excellent, and I have to agree that I really enjoyed my choices.
Service was a pleasure.
I simply have to ask why I have not been before. We are spoiled for choice in London at this level though, so I'll just have to ration myself.
Do go for a first class Traditional Haut Cousine experience.
Forget The Ivy, where all the celebrities swarm and where people go to be 'seen', the real foodies go to Le Gavroche, a much more understated establishment in Mayfair renowned for its incredible food and service.
It has to be said that Le Gavroche offers a unique dining experience for the uninitiated; you walk into a slightly dimly-lit basement, someone will pull out your chair for you and shake your napkin into your lap. You are treated like royalty (and you should be for the price). The French art of waiting is revived here, as the waiters take pride in their work, knowledge and appearance and are incredibly charming, and can even be cajoled into singing happy birthday on occasion (I was the lucky one!)
The food defies description. I tried the milk-fed lamb from the Pyrenées back in January, and the August before I'd tried the ginger scallops; both were without a doubt the most amazing thing I'd ever tasted. Moreover, between courses (and to make it all the more special), you are plied with little amuse-bouches, tiny little morsels which only whet your appetite.
This restaurant is without a doubt one of the best, and is for those who actually want good food, not food hyped up by glitz and glamour. However, gentlemen be warned - you still need a jacket; there's no slacking here.
You often hear that you get what you pay for and, in the case of Le Gavroche, this is an absolute certainty.
You will pay a lot of money to eat here. No, you will pay one hell of a lot of money to eat here. Forget it though, because you may only ever get one chance in life to enjoy what must be the ultimate dining experience.
From the elegantly understated dining room, to the silence of the waiting staff as they glide from table to table with un-erring skill and patience to, of course, probably the best food you have ever eaten in your entire life.
From entrance to exit, your time in Le Gavroche will be something that lives with you forever. Inside, you will be able to chuckle politely as other folks rave about their fine dining experiences - for you know, that you have dined at the finest.
Le Gavroche is located on a quiet street in Mayfair (the one worth £400 on the Monopoly board) and the entrance was quite nondescript. Upon entering, we were briskly shown to our table downstairs, bypassing the ground floor parlour which contained several comfortable looking armchairs. We weren't the first guests to arrive at 7.30pm, but it didn't start to fill up till about 9pm, still pretty impressive for a weekday in credit crunch times.
Looking around the restaurant, the atmosphere spoke: hey buddy, this is a seriously posh traditional French restaurant, so don't slouch, sit straight and be prepared to pay through your nose tonight. Best example I can give is the menu there aren't any prices listed on the ones given to the ladies. Other smaller hints: men are obliged to wear jackets, the artwork decorating the walls (apparently there's a genuine Picasso around somewhere), and almost every piece of cutlery and dishware had their logo (Gavroche = the little boy from Les Misérables) imprinted; I was highly impressed by that, a lot of effort had obviously gone into this.
Anyway, we opted for the degustation, known as the Menu Exceptionnel here. Our waitress seemed a bit taken aback when my two friends wanted to swap the lamb course but was quick to check with chef, and came back offering alternatives.
Special mention has to be made for the wine list correction: it's a book, not a list. My friend was choosing the wine, so I didn't have a thorough read, but it appeared to be predominantly French wines (unsurprisingly) with a price range that far exceeds my monthly (and nearly yearly) income; some of the bottles had five digits for their pricetag. We ended up choosing a red Pauillac that was pretty good once we let it breathe a bit in the decanter.
I found the entire meal a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. The level of service provided was top notch and very attentive. The view amongst my social circle (those I've spoken to about this anyway), French restaurants have a reputation for being rather 'stuck-up' and snobby. But au contraire, for despite our waitress looking like a stern headmistress (reminded me a lot of Prof McGonagall from Harry Potter), she was actually very nice and pleasant.
Altogether, the bill came to £135 each for the degustation, a bottle of red wine and three bottles of Evian.
This meal reminded me of the true gulf in class and quality between one and two starred restaurants and this is probably the best French meal I've ever had in my life (Fat Duck doesn't count as French). Barring the sea bass, I felt all the dishes were delicious and well thought out. Also, the flavours were very strong and doesn't pull any punches, which is more my style. The only negative aspect of the dishes is that plate presentation is rather poor, but this is probably a result of the chef's emphasis on flavour, not appearance, which is something a bit hard to criticize really.
Would I eat here again? I would love to, but my wallet is crying.
I have to agree with reviewers - it's traditional french food at its very best! Excellent service, timing, attention to detail, plating, presentation... and sublime cooking at it's very best. Grab your platinum card or check your credit limit in advance.
My boyfriend surprised me with dinner here and I was blown away. Everything was perfect. A jaw dropping menu accompanied by a wine bible. The staff we're absolutely amazing and made the evening flawless. The only way to best describe the food would be to book yourself a table. Being a perfect gentleman my boyfriend never disclosed the expense of the evening. It's definitely not dining you do regularly if you are mere mortal, but totally worth every penny.
lovely dining experience. service was beyond excellent. we went with the tasting menu and wine pairings. i was simply stuffed and barely touched the last 2 courses.
the attention to detail - whether that's changing plates, glasses and flatware, wiping the edge of plates when the garnish moved in transit, or even guiding me to the restroom (for some reason, every time i went to the the ladies room...). and they have a few original chagall's in the bar to keep one amused over a drink.
it's classy and traditional with air.
Celebrated my wife's birthday here on November 12th 2009. There were seven of us at her party. Food and wine were exceptional, but service became shoddy as the restaurant filled. Dessert was a disaster, one person was not served and it took 5 minutes for a server to be beckoned and help with our problem. Someone else was not served coffee until the table was done. In spite of the service deterioration at the end of the meal, the restaurant is exceptional as is the food. We will return on our next trip to London
There is no doubt that this is a pricey restaurant but the lunch menu is fantastic value (three courses plus half a bottle of wine per person plus mineral water) for the quality of the whole dining experience. We were a little unlucky with a table right near the kitchen exit (I suspect only regulars get the good tables!) and fortunately had been forewarned about the dress code for gents. I can't actually remember what I ordered as the whole experience merged into one gastronomic delight. The very attentive service was impressive but I found it irritating to have only taken a sip of wine and someone was over to pour some more out!
I have been visiting this restaurant regularly over the years and to me although I am in a similar trade it is by far the best place I have ever experienced. It is consistently excellent and has always exceeded my expectations. I would thoroughly recommend it to all.
Traditional french food at its very best! Make sure you have an empty stomach before coming here too. You'll find all the traditional french dishes here, and cooked at its very best.
The best cheese souffle, langoustine gratin, mmm and the cheese trolley! I was bursting by the time we got to the cheese trolley. I would add another star as my fiance proposed to me here!
Thanks for the wonderfull evening we enjoy it very much and come back soon
It may be unpopular to give this restaurant four stars but i have my reasons! Firstly, let me say that we went for the menu exceptionnel ( tasting menu to the rest of us!). The food is indeed delicious. However, not all dishes were equal. Some were much more delicious than others. That was the first disappointment. Starting off with the cheese souffle probably didn't help since this particular dish was by far the best dish on the menu and set the bar too high. Particularly when enjoyed with the wine pairing. Which brings me onto the second point; we chose the sommeliers wine pairing with each dish which bumped up the price to eye watering levels!
However, we felt that the wines were perfect with the food and there is no way we could have enjoyed such a large variety of different complimentary wines without the sommelier pairings. Our glasses were topped up to ensure we had enough wine to finish each dish. Unfortunately that meant that we ended up having a bit too much!
The reason for the missing star is that we felt we were served too much food! I know that may sound ungrateful or picky BUT when you are dining at such an establishment you tend to devour everything served to you. The food is VERY rich, so at those quantities we felt way too full to the point of feeling quite sick for a couple of days! Not good. I do feel quite strongly that such things should be taken into account.
Gluttony is not attractive nor is it healthy but when you go to a restaurant like le gavroche for the first time you want to try the tasting menu, afterall you are unlikely to make a habit out of it. And with these prices you are hardly going to leave food on your plate! In short, the portions should be smaller and perhaps the prices may correspond. That would make this a five star experience for sure.
treat your taste buds to an orgasmic experience, Le Gavroche is simply the best, the decor is quirky, the service is impeccable, the waiters were extremely attentive, i had the cheese souffle as the entree and the garlic lobster for main with matching wines ... it is certainly one of the best places i've dinned in.... highly recommended, it's not cheap but you get what you pay for!!
I was here a while ago. the service/waiter was very good. very very good choice of red wine from the sommelier. amazing dessert. but the starter and the main course, was at that time rather standard or lets say pretty classical. i prefer more the creative kitchen
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