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Being Bloody French…

June 20, 2011

Looking for a restaurant with a varied menu and a BYO policy we came across the Bloody French cantine on Westbourne Grove, which sounded like it would fit the bill perfectly.

We booked for dinner on Sunday evening, although booking appeared unnecessary on arrival. We were quickly offered a choice of tables and the friendly waitress soon returned with a carafe of tap water. The menu at Bloody French is presented on small, portable blackboards. Our waitress talked us through the specials and changes to the menu and also recommended some dishes that would go well with the wine we had taken with us (a rather tasty Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru).

To start, J went for the gratinee a l’oignon and I ordered the mussels a la mariniere. Apparently the french onion soup was very good – it certainly contained some hearty chunks of onion. The mussels were delicious, a very healthy portion and the sauce divine… creamy but light.

For our main courses J ordered the parmentier of duck confit with┬áherbs and mushrooms and I had the replacement dish of panfried sea bream and trout fillets on a bed of mange tout and saute potatoes, with a little onion and cream sauce. J was delighted that, as requested, the parmentier was served without mushrooms. The fish fillets were perfectly cooked, not too dry and were well complemented by the potatoes and mange tout. This dish in particular went extremely well with our wine – well done to the waitress for a fine recommendation.

For dessert J had the tarte au cafe, which was a rich┬áchocolate and coffee tart served with a little white foam and a small glass of coffee flavoured sauce for pouring and/or drinking. My creme brulee ‘au moment’ was a berry creme brulee and was excellent – light and creamy with a nicely crisped top and a smattering of raspberries and blueberries. Filter coffee afterwards was good and strong and served with a small jug of hot milk.

Service at Bloody French hit just the right note of being friendly without being familiar. The sole waitress was attentive at the right times during the evening, although did slacken a little after dessert. The format at Bloody French means excellent value for money – a fixed price for 3 courses with some dishes attracting a clearly labelled supplement and no corkage charge for BYO! The food we had was delightfully presented and excellent. We enjoyed the Bloody French experience and I shall certainly bloody well return :-)

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