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Signed photos from many of Britain’s best-loved actors line the walls at l’Etoile, forming a great sea of thespian endorsement that fills every available space. The restaurant itself has been around for over a century, and its aesthetic is firmly of the old school; etched glass, red banquettes and starched linen remain the order of the day.

The food is resolutely classic too: a ham hock terrine starter with apple chutney and sauce vierge is straight from the Left Bank; and a delicate double-baked mushroom soufflé is a well-judged French staple, served with a cool twist of chive crème fraîche. Main courses satisfied without enthralling. A light, fresh salmon and leek fish cake arrived with mushy peas and an endive salad, and corn-fed chicken accompanied by a mini kiev and red wine sauce was hearty yet undistinguished.

There’s more imagination at work in the desserts. A light lemon tart came intriguingly topped with popping candy, and a hefty portion of rice pudding was decked with great shavings of caramelised pineapple. Elena’s faded grandeur and traditional dishes are part of its charm: this is a place for a nostalgic feed rather than an inspiring one.

Venue name: Elena's L'Étoile
Address: 30 Charlotte Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 5-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Main courses £15.75-£20.25. Set meal £20.95 2 courses, £25.95 3 courses
1 person listening

Had a lovely night out with friends. Great menu and wine list. Friendly service and good food.