This Smithfield sliver of a wine bar is from the Gascon Connection stable, so is sister to Comptoir Gascon, Cigalon, Baranis and the Michelin-starred Club Gascon. As the name suggests, it's a group focused on the cooking of the Gascony region of France, and comes from Vincent Labeyrie and chef, Pascal Aussignac.
The wine list goes big on bottles from across the South of France, with a particular concentration on the south-west. There are more than 200 in the cellar (many of which are sourced exclusively), with at least 20 different wines available by the glass. Monthly wine dinners offer the chance to sample at least four.
Food-wise, it's all about Gascon small plates. Expect dishes ranging from Toulose sausage with lentils, a signature duck burger and pine-smoked prawns with horseradish cream to crunchy beans with a chilli dressing and egg and caviar on toast. A selection of foie gras dishes also features.
Mondays and Fridays, from 5-7pm, enjoy all bottles at the take-home price. Sante!
|Venue name:||Cellar Gascon||Contact:|
59 West Smithfield
|Opening hours:||Open noon-midnight, tapas served noon-2.30pm, 6-11pm Mon-Fri|
|Transport:||Tube: Barbican tube or Farringdon tube/rail|
|Price:||Tapas £4.50-£7.50. Set lunch £9.50 1 course, glass of wine and coffee, £12.50 2 courses, glass of wine and coffee. House wine from £19.50 bottle, from £2.75 glass|
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Shhhh…London Foodie Mama has stumbled upon a little London secret. Not sure we want anyone else to discover this find….It’s the lunch time bargain dish of the day served at Cellar Gascon. LFM is a big fan of the Gascon mini chain having dined at the Michelin starred (stiff and formal) Club Gascon and the more accessible gourmet bistro style Comptoir Gascon. Having spent a fortune at both these venues, who would have thought their baby sister restaurant, Cellar Gascon, could offer a decent dish at £6!
We devoured the Toulouse Sausage cassoulet bathed in beautiful juices and lentils. OK, the dish is on the small size but we were satisfied at lunchtime having filled up on the accompanying complimentary fresh baguette and topping up with the bargain desert (£3) of Pain Perdu (translated as Lost bread). We also tried the Signature Gascon Duck burger which you couldn’t fault – moist shredded duck, sandwiched between a toasted brioche bun (yes it could have been bigger but it was only £5!) Why can’t there be more places like this in London??
Would you bring a baby? Simple answer..No. Do you want to trek to the City/Clerkenwell area at lunchtime with the buggy on public transport and dine amongst serious looking suited and booted business men? Plus, the venue is more of a narrow wine bar with little room for buggies with no highchairs available and no baby changing facilities. Having mentioned all the above, our toddler was happily perched in a booth and staff made us feel welcome despite our noisy tag along. (Parenting tip from LFM: train your kids early on regarding restaurant behaviour and etiquette and potty train early to avoid searching from nappy changing facilities). https://londonfoodiemama.wordpress.com/