Those familiar with Marylebone will appreciate that London certainly is France’s sixth largest city. The French language can be heard up and down the high street from Maje to agnès b, as well as floating through classrooms at the Alliance Francaise. This West London “arrondissement” wouldn’t be complete without an exceptional French restaurant.
Perched on the corner of Cavendish Square, sister restaurant to the legendary Michelin-starred Taillevent Paris, Les 110 de Taillevent seemed a great place to start.
Joined by a fellow Francophile, our arrival is swiftly followed by two flutes of Perrier-Jouët. The dining room is warm and sophisticated with a mixture of inviting banquettes and spot lit marble tables. The setting is relaxed and elegant, perfect for sharing a meal with friends, family and business associates. Especially if they are wine aficionados. Most definitely if they are French.
The bar is a vast library of fine wines that extends across the entire back wall, its shelves laden with an assortment of bottles from France and beyond – an impressive 110 of which are served by the glass along with a 1100 strong wine list. Head sommelier Christopher Lecoufle is on hand to explain the menu which has been thoughtfully laid out with both red and white wine suggestions for each course.
In his charming Normandy accent, Christopher urges us to try the six-course tasting menu accompanied by the “prestige” wine flight to ensure the full Taillevent experience. Pourquoi pas! He kindly asks if we have any wine preferences and I am immediately drawn to a Corsican red, not something one often sees in London. He assures me that with its ever-present “maquis” fragrance, it’s the perfect companion for the venison.
Head Chef Ross Bryans expertly combines French cooking with British ingredients including Cornish turbot, Yorkshire grouse and Scottish scallops. Open for lunch and dinner, you can choose from the la carte or an exceptional six-course tasting menu with many dishes changing on a fortnightly basis.
We commence with a foie gras terrine served with homemade brioche and maple syrup, followed by lobster bisque paired with a sharp Naoussa wine that cuts through the smooth creamy soup.
Next is a line caught Cornish sea bass with sauce nero paired with a light Italian Nascetta, which, judging by our fellow diners, appears to be a popular choice. The venison loin with beetroot and kumquat is expertly cooked and is the undoubted highlight, particularly as the fruity flavours of the Domaine Abbatucci wine are matched as well as Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI.
The first of two desserts is a beautifully presented white chocolate affair with dainty biscuits, redcurrants and matcha tea crumble complimented by a sweet Italian Muscat. From the effortless to the intricate, we finish with a decadent chocolate crémeux atop a crumble base for texture, carefully dusted with golf leaf.
“Santé!” we proclaim as we raise a delicious, syrupy Portuguese Madeira – a toast to Taillevent and its 110 wines by the glass.
To discover more and book, visit: www.les-110-taillevent-london.com
By Elisa Sassoon
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