French cuisine just never goes out of fashion. It can almost be described as being the pinnacle of gastronomy. French cooking is an art that many skilled chefs have eagerly learnt at some point in their career, so luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to France to experience the delights of authentic French food. So what has London got to offer in terms of French eateries? After scouring the most celebrated restaurants, the critics’ favorites, and the peoples’ choices, it is clear that London is flourishing with cuisine creativity.
Launched in 1927 by the first television cook, Xavier Marcel Boulestin, the restaurant is still going strong and the menu delivers delicious dishes such as poached egg in aspic with ham, tomato, and tarragon; fillet de Cabillaud rôti, salicorne and sauce vierge, and a strawberry and pistachio coupe.
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
A family run affair, the Galvin brand was founded in 2005 by Michelin-starred chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. At Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, the prices are affordable and the service is welcoming, and the food can only be described as supreme. The red onion tarte tatin, caramelised walnuts and endive salad, steak tartare with toasted Sourdough, and luxurious soufflés are all stars of the menu.
L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon
With an atmosphere that is seductively dark and modern, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon's is all about luxurious dining and the French fusion restaurant has all the awards to prove its gastronomical expertise, including two Michelin Stars and three AA Rosettes. Have you ever tried smoked aubergine caviar with vegetables and spicy tomato coulis or crispy poached egg on a parmesan mousseline with Iberian ham? Well now is the time! The staff also knows a thing or two about wine.
Le Gavroche is the very epitome of fine French dining. Following recent renovation, there are additions such as a new kitchen, updated interior, and the innovative ‘Chef’s Library’. So what’s on the menu? The first restaurant in the UK to get two Michelin Stars serves delights such as foie gras eclairs; glazed lamb ribs; langoustines on hot stones, and Salsifi roti au beurre et amandes salees.
L’Esgcargot has been elegantly creating French cuisine ‘depuis’ 1927, and this long-standing Soho restaurant still has a lot to offer. Oliver Lesnik is head chef and you can expect a menu that is typical of traditional French cooking. ‘Bourgeois in style’, the menu has rich pleasures such as the Grand Marnier soufflé; lobster bisque; steak tartare; moules marinieres; duck confit; and of course ‘les escargots extraordinaire.’
Le Garrick Brasserie Restaurant
Run by couple Dominika and Charles, who met in Le Garrick 8 years ago, the restaurant serves traditional French food that has been inspired by Burgundy, Toulouse, and the Basque country. The service is friendly and the restaurant promises to deliver delicious authentic dishes that are reasonably priced. On its menu, the restaurant passionately serves fondue de vacherin pour deux and cassoulet de Toulouse, among many others.
La Petite Maison
With an explosion of colours and fresh flowers, Le Petite Maison evokes summertime and lots of zest. It has even been said that the food in Brook Mews is just as good as their Nice restaurant. Furthermore, many satisfied diners leave feeling the food is worthy of its price tag, and here’s why: onion tart with anchovies, and burrata with fresh Datterini tomatoes and basil are just a few of the dishes conjured up for hungry diners.
With an eclectic décor that is distinctively jolie, the atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and welcoming. Located in ‘the enclave of Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Chancery Lane,” this French restaurant serves the classics like foie gras aux pistaches en terrine, and ravioles d’escargots à la Bourguignonne. Then there is its famous canard de rouen a la presse; the duck is sourced from the House Burgaud in Challans and it must be ordered in advance, but will be one of the most delightful dishes you have tasted in your lifetime.
The Lawn Bistro
Time Out London nominee for Best New Restaurant, The Lawn Bistro serves tasty fresh French food at great value. Think, poached duck egg with Jerusalem artichoke, pesto purée, and blackcurrant jus’ for £8.00, or the beautiful octopus ballotine with fennel purée, Avruga caviar and white anchovy mille-feuille for only £10.00. Previously headed by Ollie Couillaud, new talent Neal Cooper has just taken over. It is worth knowing that although largely inspired by French cuisine, there are also hints of Spanish and Italian influences in its menu.
A firm favourite for tourists and locals, Savoir Faire serves classic French dishes. The food is simple, tasty, really affordable, and generously portioned. The menu has offerings such as roast leg of lamb with rosemary and red wine jus; traditional beef Bourguignon, and pan fried foie gras with caramelized apple on warm brioche. There is also a tasty selection of vegetarian options. Perched on a busy road, it is in a strange location and you may have to wait a little longer than normal at times but that doesn’t stop loyal customers returning to the family-run business.
Seven Park Place by William Drabble
Launched in September 2009, the elegant Seven Park Place by William Drabble was awarded a Michelin star a year later, and was also awarded four AA Rosettes for its classic French cuisine menu. Drabble has honed his own style using the best British ingredients, such as poached native lobster tail with cauliflower purée; lobster butter sauce springs, and Best End of Lune Valley lamb with confit potatoes. With only 9 tables, the restaurant has a really intimate feel which makes the service that much more personal.