There are times when you fancy a cuisine and you can only imagine it being executed properly if you went to the very country to taste it. But sometimes, you can get lucky. Food can really hit the spot without you having to venture too far away from your doorstep.
I was wondering if this may be the case as I went along to visit the highly acclaimed French restaurant Les 110 de Taillevent.
Following the tradition of the Michelin two-star Taillevent in Paris, Les 110 de Taillevent in London offers both classic and modern French dishes along with a choice of perfectly paired wines by the glass. Wine lovers would love this place – even before we had time to set our sights on the drinks menu, a crisp glass of champagne was thrust into our hands.
As my guest Harj and I looked at the menu, we noticed that the extensive set of wines by the glass (offered as either 125ml or tasting measures of 75 ml) were paired with all the dishes from the starter, to the main and dessert. In fact, there are four offerings of wines per dish so you don’t have to decide upon a wine which you’re not too sure about. The pairing of food and wine all of a sudden gained a different meaning in my book.
The one hundred and ten wines by the glass, along with a wine list of over 1100 bins, can be enjoyed in the modern-styled restaurant – which has a display of wine bottles as the centrepiece – or on the alfresco terrace for lunch, dinner, drinks and private parties. But we were here to have a full dining experience and the aroma of food around me had got my taste buds going.
It was the Cornish Crab that took my fancy from the starter options compete with remoulade, dill and fennel. And a fine starter that was too. However, it was a bite of the Spelt Lobster Risotto I had from my sister Harj’s choice, that made me feel I should have ordered that instead. Still, that didn’t stop me devouring the small but right sized portion of my crab.
Keeping in line with the fish theme, I chose the Wild Cod with roasted celeriac with a side of heritage broccoli to get in some extra veggies. The whole plate literally was a melt in the mouth experience. Cod often doesn’t have enough flavour so it needs the right herbs and flavours to bring it out and this one certainly didn’t disappoint.
I normally skip dessert, but The Almond – a concoction of sorbet, lime meringue and almond praline, macaron crumble – was too much of a temptation to pass. It melted beautifully in the little gaps I still had in my belly from the starter and the main. I did, however, skip the wine recommendation as I’m not a fan of dessert wines but was happy to accept the same crisp glass of champagne I was offered at the beginning of the meal.
Les 110 de Taillevent is a grand idea for wine lovers from the expert to the keen amateur. And you can expect the food to be just as good. Would I visit again? I most certainly would but perhaps next time to enjoy those wines a little more on their own on the terrace with a group of friends to soak up the views and the beautiful summer weather in London while it lasts. And I don’t even have to travel to Paris to enjoy it.
By Sabi Phagura
Les 110 de Taillevent – Where and how?
Les 110 de Taillevent is located at 16 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 9DD. The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday and the website can be accessed here