Do you have those places that you must have walked past a thousand times and yet never actually gone into? I must have pounded the streets surrounding Covent Garden and walked past iconic French restaurant Le Garrick practically a bajillion trillion times (approx) and yet I only sampled its delights a couple of weeks ago.
London is so saturated with new foodie crazes and pop-up palaces and groovy restaurant openings that places that have stood the test of time often get overlooked. However, sometimes it’s worth paying these gastronomic veterans a visit- they’re clearly doing something right to have been in business so long!
My chum and I popped into Le Garrick for lunch a couple of weeks ago and were at once smitten with the cosy alcoves, lit by candlelight (all food bloggers shout NOOOOOOOO) and complete with little rickety tables in every nook and cranny. Celebrating its 30th birthday this year, the menu is proper, traditional French fodder. You’ve got your Moules Marinieres, your Soupe a L’Oignon and your Boef Bourguignon. Standard stuff, but all reasonably priced, done fresh and, well- it was nice to not be in another branch of Cafe Rouge really.
We were both there for a special set menu, which was to mark Bastille Day (before the tragic news of the evening rolled out). We slurped a good glass of red and munched on sliced baguette and salted butter before our main of Coq Au Vin was set in front of us. And it was everything you want Coq Au Vin to be. Rich without being overwhelming, with big hunks of chicken on the bone and tender button mushrooms. We scoffed the lot.
After that came a HUGE helping of Tarte Tatin, accompanied by a dollop of vanilla ice-cream and a shot of Poire (pear liqueur). The tarte was caramelly and appley and sweet without being sickly, which is the main thing I look for in a dessert, not having a massive sweet-tooth myself.
Overall we were charmed with Le Garrick, the staff were attentive and friendly, the setting was decidedly romantic (I’d love to go back in Winter to fully appreciate the candlelit setting- it wasn’t quite the same on a 30 degree June lunchtime!) and the food was solid.
So why not pop in and pay that place you’ve marched past every day a visit? You might be pleasantly surprised!
We were guests of Le Garrick, but if we hadn’t thoroughly enjoyed it, I wouldn’t have written about it!