Le Garrick Serves French Cuisine and Family Recipes in London’s Theatreland

This three-decade-old London restaurant serves consistently delicious rich French dishes
London’s Le Garrick

Courtesy of Le Garrick

No food is as iconically French as escargot.

There are no passing fads in this oh-so-French spot. West-Ender Le Garrick has stood at the corner of Garrick and Floral streets for more than 30 years, yet feels like it could be in Paris. The décor features all-wooden, mismatched chairs and tables, tinkling piano music, and theatre posters. Large windows overlook the action of the busy street with a definitely non-Parisian bastion of Englishness, the Garrick Club, opposite. Downstairs is all nooks and crannies with wooden floors, scrubbed-wooden tables in alcoves, and arched cellar ceilings.

The menu is classic French. The calamari with ginger and chile — a recipe of the owner’s grandmother — is a highlight. Swimming in butter but given a kick with the spice, they’re tender and fragrant — memorable.  Another must-eat starter, and another family recipe, is escargot in more garlicky butter; so good they ought to be illegal. The meaty morsels swim in delicious sauce; it’s decadent, as French as it gets. Main courses include beef bourguignon: rich, red-winey, and smoky — a heavy, old-school food.  A classic special is bouillabaisse: fish soup, creamy, delicate.

For dessert, there’s a lemon tart with the kind of intense citrus that says summer on a terrace, even in deepest January, and a classically voluptuous crème brûlée, chilled custard against the brittle top — no twists. It tastes like you’ve wandered into a hotel restaurant in small-town France.

Le Garrick is a delightful surprise because it’s just so quintessentially old school; a French brasserie with a scattering of Theatreland tinsel, the ideal place for a cozy night out and the feeling of a world that never changes, plus ça change...

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