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Restaurants City of London
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A French restaurant for City slickers with taste.

You’re about as likely to find an actual cabotte – a kind of Gallic peasant’s hut – on the sterile Square Mile street home to this upscale but welcoming French restaurant as you are to bump into someone in a suit costing less than your monthly salary. Instead, it’s the expense-account version of kicking back over good food and wine: a City restaurant with just enough style and taste to avoid offending conservative tastes but also to make you look good if you’re the one who suggested meeting there.

An art deco-style bar sits among tables primed for lunch meetings. The decor is dark and distinguished. The food is classy but not overly adventurous, leaning towards delicate meat and fish dishes in rich sauces (like pork rump with mustard and pear, or grilled stone bass with poached oyster and crémant velouté), pushing quality produce over volume. The desserts are the most memorable, particularly a great dish of chocolate and honeycomb panna cotta that looked liked someone had upended a flowerpot over the plate.

A word of warning: don’t bother with the frogs’ legs. Never bother with the frogs’ legs. They weren’t good. I ended up taking refuge in the tangy sauce they came with, but the legs themselves may as well have been ear cleaners dipped in breadcrumbs.

They’re clearly used to a well-heeled clientele at Cabotte, though you can actually eat here for a reasonable sum. The prices on the full wine list might stress you out, and they offered us a serving of off-menu truffle shavings for our main courses in the same way other restaurants might with pepper (tip: ask how much it’ll be). If you care about good ingredients, careful but sensible cooking and decent service, this is a smart option. Just don’t expect anything so characterful that it could distract from the matter in hand: getting on with business.


Address: 48 Gresham Street
Transport: Tube: St Paul's
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and sevrice: around £130.
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