The first of the Galvin brothers’ restaurant empire, this polished, much-loved Marylebone bistro is classically French (veloutés, soufflés, purées) with the occasional nod to Italy (risottos, lasagnes, panna cottas). The dining room is an inviting place, with its dark chocolate wood panelling, globe lighting and big bunches of scarlet gladioli.
Lunch, ordered from the à la carte and £19.50 prix-fixe menus, was high on comfort and mostly tip-top. A smooth, nicely fatty pork and duck rillette was presented on a rustic slab of wood with super-fresh leaves and toasted sourdough. A main course of calves’ liver came draped in bacon on a pool of gravy, accompanied by meltingly good potato purée. Salt-cod brandade was laced with olive oil and wonderfully creamy, though we were caught off-guard by the inclusion of a runny egg.
Dessert didn’t quite deliver. A Valrhona chocolate ‘délice’, served on a rectangular white plate, arrived fridge-cold with a lump of rock-hard honeycomb. It looked snazzy with its painterly streaks of chocolate, but was nothing like as good as a simple chocolate fondant.
Service can be a little relaxed at times, and our table at the back felt cramped, but the excellent coffee ended things on a high.