Serving 110 different wines by the glass, Les 110 de Taillevent in Marylebone had me at hello…
With original French sister restaurant, Le Taillevent Paris, in possession of two Michelin stars, this London version is following in the footsteps. Opening in 1946 the Parisian great was named after the famous chef and forerunner of French gastronomy – it’s also apparently the restaurant that inspired the film Ratatouille!
Aftab soon arrived and we got comfortable in the stylish black leather chairs filling the restaurant’s gorgeous wood-clad interior in anticipation for our lunch. The building was originally a Coutts Bank, which is evident in the high ceilings of the gorgeous grade II listed building on Cavendish Square. Our first drink is No.61 wine, the Champagne Brut Premier Cru N.V Frerejean Fréres, the perfect way to kick off a meal. A card is around the stem of the glass as a useful way to remind you want you’re drinking – especially if you want to order it again! The gougères were the kind of melt-in-the-mouth food porn that you have to resist from finishing every scrap when you know you have a several courses ahead of you…
The menu of French food has been created by Head Chef, Raphael Grima and each of the 110 glasses has been chosen to pair with the 30 seasonal dishes. Though if you don’t find what you’re looking for, the wine list is 1100 bins strong!
The delicious sourdough had a perfectly chewy crust and was bought to the table with our next wine, the No.3 Saumur 2013 Domaine Guiberteau.
My starter was one of the best I’ve had in a long time, and future meals eaten in 2018 will have to live up to this! Heritage artichoke mixed with fried artichokes crisps, anchovies and garlic with a light mayonnaise dressing. The warm salad has the perfect balance of textures and just the right amount of salt for me.
Aftab’s duck foie gras mi cuit was less successful. Personally I never order foie gras as I find it too rich and in this case it was very salty too. However he did enjoy the accompanying passion fruit couli and mango cubes and the side of brioche.
I suggested a small portion of the restaurant’s signature lobster spelt risotto to try as a middle course – and it turned out to be an excellent idea as this was another fantastic dish. It’s no wonder that it won “Best in Taste” at the Taste of London Festival. Even Aftab, who usually avoids fish, loved this creamy dish with the sweet taste of the succulent lobster.
Our red wine was the perfect match for our main courses. I chose a really succulent lobster that had been roasted and paired with glazed artichokes and mushrooms, tarragon and a red wine bisque – it was rich and warming whilst at the same time light and perfectly portioned. Aftab’s lamb was pretty as a picture and cooked just the way he likes it. The striploin was served with dauphinoise potatoes and goats cheese and lamb jus.
I love a light and zesty dessert so the calamansi lemon ticked all the boxes, break open the sugar orb and inside is a delicious mix of sweet and citrus goodness – passion fruit, meringue and short bread and there’s a smack of tequila in there too with a lime sorbet.
Also going for a light and fruity option, Aftab loved his coconut mousse dessert with fresh mango and coconut sorbet. However, admittedly we had huge food envy for the desserts on the table next to us, so the waitress kindly bought those over for us to try. Aftab also loved the accompanying dessert wine but I opted for another glass of bubbles.
Honestly don’t bother holding back, just go ahead and order the chocolate carmelia, with fleur de sel and chocolate sablé and cocoa sorbet. It’s an utterly magnificent dessert and just the right blend of slightly bitter chocolate with sweet.
While you’re at it, try the pain perdu with caramel, crème patissière and brioche ice cream. The perfect hug of a dessert on a cold day!
Aftab and I probably tried about ten of the wines on offer at Les 110 de Taillevent and trust me, we will be back to try the remaining 100… I had a truly excellent lunch here and I see a starry future for this place!
Les 110 de Taillevent
16 Cavendish Square
020 3141 6016
I was invited to review and our lunch was complimentary.