In review: the Galvin brothers' Bistrot de Luxe
PUBLISHED: 17:09 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 23 November 2017
After recently returning to Essex to open the Galvin Green Man pub, Nick Roberts heads into their Baker Street restaurant, Bistrot de Luxe, to see where it all began
Feeling festive for us Essex folk often involves a trip to the bright lights of London. Of course, the lights are particularly bright at this time of year and the sparkle of Oxford Street is iconic as shoppers busily bustle their way along the line of high street highlights searching out a unique gift for a loved one, or perhaps a special treat for themselves – well it is Christmas.
But after a busy day of shopping, all this razzmatazz can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately however, I have discovered the perfect antidote. Just a five minute walk from the main thoroughfare you can escape into a world of serenity and luxury – commercial expressway dissolves into a distant memory in this quiet corner of the capital.
The Galvin brothers recently retuned to their home county of Essex with the opening of The Green Man pub at Howe Street near Chelmsford. This gastro transformation followed the brothers’ achievement of creating six hugely successful dining destinations in London as well as establishments in Edinburgh and Dubai.
I had enjoyed a recent visit to The Green Man immensely and from that latest manifestation of the Galvin brand, I was keen to seek out where it all began. And it was here, the stylish, elegant and beautiful Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street, the flagstone and first foundation of the Galvin brothers’ restaurant empire.
This is a classically French dining environment, with the occasional nod to Italy. Dark wood panelling softens chic globe lighting and crisp white table cloths. While the entrance is inconspicuous, what lies within is an exquisite eatery which transports you to another place, another time, almost.
Instantly at home and at ease thanks to the perfectly measured attention of general manager, Rudi Alves Hygino, my wife and I perused the menu. Rudi’s recommendations steered us towards choices of the Galvin cured smoked salmon with traditional garnish and the lasagne of Dorset crab with girolles velouté to start. This was followed by a main course of caramelised duck confit with cassoulet a la maison for the lady and slow cooked venison, creamed celeriac, heritage beetroot and quince for myself, with an effortless substitution for the beetroot as it is just not my thing.
Each dish was simply sublime with an excellent balance of flavours that punched through with each mouthful. The dishes were also perfectly proportioned, leaving just enough excuse for a dessert of apple tarte Tatin with Normandy crème fraîche and the not to be missed Valrhona Manjari chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream – both exemplifying the French flair and cultured cuisine on offer here.
This snapshot of Luxe luxury left me almost ready to do more Christmas shopping, but don’t tell the wife I said so.
Find out more
Bistrot de Luxe
66 Baker Street
0207 935 4007