Les 110 de Taillevent, a French restaurant that’s (only slightly) more approachable than its two-Michelin star older sibling in Paris, sits pretty in an old banking chamber in the heart of upper-crust Marylebone. With stained oak interiors and dark green velvet booths, it smacks of trust funds, moneyed tourists and suits with expense accounts. You’ll want to sit up a bit straighter, refine your accent and make sure to use all your cutlery in the right order when dining here. Serving up an impressive 110 different wines by the glass (and making sense of the name), this bistro caters to both connoisseur and casual quaffer. The food is fine dining at its best – and while portions would probably only fill the stomach of a tiny bird, what they lacked in size was made up for in remarkable colour, taste and texture. Lobster risotto was delicately fragrant, while savoury choux buns stuffed with cheese were the perfect combination of salty, sweet and flaky.
Main dishes were equally lavish – my Welsh beef fillet, which dramatically arrived under a dome, released a wonderfully fragrant puff of smoke when the glass cover was lifted with a flourish. Served with feather-light and buttery pommes purée, this main was only narrowly upstaged by the decadent desserts. The chocolate log was an ingenious combo of peanut crunch and dark chocolate tartness, but the real winner was a type of lemon meringue concoction, reconstructed into a shard-like golden orb that snapped, crackled and popped sherbet-style. Filled with lime sorbet, small chunks of sweet crunchy biscuit, lemon curd and a splash of piquant tequila, apparently this is the most popular dessert on the menu – it deserves to be.
Clients who need impressing, a partner who deserves spoiling, a wine snob who requires pleasing – Les 110 is quite perfect for them all.