Specializing in food and drink from the Loire river surrounds the natural wine list was slightly daunting for people like us, who know nothing but wish we did. We went for a mid priced (under £30) red, we were disappointed to find it far colder than it should be, but happily drank it and said nothing.
Some lovely baguette arrived swiftly and was replenished throughout the evening.
The starters were the highlight of the meal, they were all absolutely brilliant, Art's pumpkin soup with chesnut and sage (£7) was perfect for such a blustery week (it was storm week). I had the duck egg with anchovy soldiers (£4.50) which was amazing.
The yolk was perfectly dunkable and the anchovy butter was intensely fishy. I LOVE a boiled egg, this is pretty much my perfect dish. Adored it.
We shared a third starter because we couldn't resist the sound of the rillon with endive and mustard dressing (£9). It's slow cooked cubed pork belly and the combination with the chicory and creamy mustardy sauce with chives was unbelievably good.
The place was really busy, tables turned regularly and it seemed to be an eclectic bunch of people - tourists, families, couples, suits, us - it appeals to everyone it seems. There's a great pre theatre offer of 2 courses for £8 or something ridiculous, available all day, until 5pm. If I still worked in the area I'd be there for lunch all the time.
Onto mains, I had the civet of hare with wild mushrooms and parpadelle (£18). The sauce was rich and porty, a civet is essentially a hare cut into bits, marinated and cooked slowly in a tall jug in a pan of water and served in a thick sauce. Also known as jugged hare. I was happy, the hare was a tad on the dry side which surprised me as it's cooked and served on the bone, but it's a lean meat.
Shocker of the night was Art, fish hater, have the whole brill with beurre blanc (£22). Very proud!
We really wanted the fig and almond tart but they'd sold out so we had the white chocolate mousse with Griottines (£6). We weren't pleased. The consistency was very un-mousslike and the cherries had an unpleasant aftertaste, they're mascerated in Kirsch. It looked pretty though.
With the food starting off at such a high standard, we couldn't help but feel a little disappointed as the meal went on, but the early dishes were so great that I'd definitely come back for more. With 4 months left in London it might not happen, but were I here for the long run, this would become a regular haunt. Service was a little slow, we had long waits between each course and had to ask to order but they've nailed the important things.
Green Man & French Horn
54 St Martins Lane