Brasserie Chavot – London
Eric Chavot recently launched his summer menu at Brasserie Chavot – the restaurant he opened in March 2013 in Conduit St, next door to the Westbury Hotel. It sounds delicious – salads and vegetables coming from Sussex farms, fish from Scotland and summer fruits from Kent, the Garden of England: lobster, grilled poussin, artichokes, asparagus, pea salads, strawberries.
A friend and I met for lunch there before the introduction of the new menu which I am quite sure will be every bit as excellent as our meal. No wonder Eric gathered two Michelin stars during his sojourn at the Capital Hotel. Eric is a genius in the kitchen and an absolute charmer as we discovered when he popped into the dining room to chat to guests.
The Brasserie itself is a long, rather narrow, elegant room with a stunning mosaic floor, some rather impressive pillars, mirrors, red upholstered chairs and banquettes and several chandeliers. (Personally I am not convinced about the chandeliers.) But for all its feeling of grandeur the room has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which is further enhanced by the delightful service.
‘Some friends were here recently’ said my friend ‘and they raved about the soft-shelled crab and the beef’. Friend doesn’t like fish, but I do; and I’m not wild about beef, but friend is. So whilst she tucked into her starter of smooth-as-silk chicken liver parfait I had the recommended crab. And it was gorgeous – crunchy and not at all greasy, served with an aioli brightened with saffron. I am assured that the daube de boeuf was excellent, whilst my orange duck with endive left me very, very happy. I should not have eaten as much of the home-made bread as I did, for it meant that apart from a spoonful of friend’s idea-of-chocolate-heaven pudding I had to skip dessert.
It seemed a shame not to have some wine to complement our meal, but as it was lunch time and we had work to go back we only wanted a glass each, so we turned for help to Indira Salcede, Chavot’s lovely young head Sommelier. Sadly I didn’t make a note of what she chose for us – but her choice was spot on.
Oh Eric, you and your team are superb. Can’t wait to get back to Brasserie Chavot. A.M.H.
Brasserie Chavot, 41 Conduit St, London W1S 2YF. Tel: 020 7183 6425