Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Nov 10 2010
Baranis and Cigalon is an upstairs, downstairs affair with a French accent. The kitchen at the ground-floor restaurant (Cigalon) is headed up by a crew with previous experience at Comptoir Gascon. Baranis is the bar (downstairs in the basement), with a simpler menu of bar food and the sort of French drinks you normally only find in France.
Southern France is the focus at both. Upstairs in Cigalon, dishes such as soupe au pistou, salted cod with aïoli and beef from the Camargue proudly show off their southern roots.
Downstairs in Baranis, the drinks list makes much of the region’s prime aperitif, pastis, with eight brands of the anise-flavoured tipple. There are also concoctions made with farigoule, rinquinquin and génépi – liqueurs flavoured with thyme, peach and herbs, respectively.
And, just in case you didn’t catch the accents of the staff in their blue-and-white striped tops, there’s even a gravelled pétanque court (for playing the southern version of boules), cordoned off from the bar at one side.
Champagne cocktail flavoured with gentian-flower cordial was well made. We would have liked a few mores wines to choose from, but the southern French selection was at least logical, and we liked our fresh, herby Corsican white.
Food-wise, in the bar there were assortments of charcuterie and cheese, plus regional nibbles such as socca, a savoury chickpea pancake, and a very good rendition of pissaladière, the Provençal version of pizza, topped with onions, anchovies and black olives.
The selection of eight varieties of goats’ and ewes’ milk cheeses was nicely chosen, if a bit on the small side for £8.
Une cité wine bar with une différence, then, but be warned that they observe le weekend – both venues are only open on weekdays.
Baranis 115 Chancery Lane
- Venue phone:
020 7242 8373
- Opening hours:
Bar open 3pm-midnight Mon, noon-midnight Tues-Fri
Tube: Chancery Lane or Temple tube
- 115 Chancery Lane
- 020 7242 8373
- 115 Chancery Lane