Les Deux Salons ....we weren't disappointed.
It was opened less than 3 weeks ago by the team behind Arbutus & our great favourite Wild Honey, and the food is recognisably that of the great Anthony Demetre...
The space looks beautiful, much bigger and less intimate than the other two restaurants -it reminded me of The Wolseley. Smoked glass mirrors, french globe pendant lights, glamorous staircase and wrought iron...plus a beautiful long curved bar, one of my favourite features at Wild Honey.
We changed tables straight away - the first one had a large pillar obscuring our view (very important for nosey people watchers like us!) but this was no problem for the charming Polish waitress who served us so cheerfully and we were very happy after the switch! Beautiful, rough french linen covered the tables....a basket of good bread was brought straight away together with chilled tap water - wonderful when you don't need to ask for that but still, sadly, fairly unusual in London.
My only slight gripe would be with the menu. Not the choices, but the fact that it was printed and laminated. I just have a thing about it. It suggests to me that the same dishes will be on offer next time we visit...I so much prefer a daily changing menu and the excitement it brings.
However, I had no complaints with the food - a salad of quinoa, broccoli, preserved lemons & bitter leaves was beautifully presented and deep in flavour. I adore preserved lemons and they lifted this dish from a simple composition to something special.
Fresh orecchiette pasta with pecorino, artichokes and pine nuts was delivered to the table in a covered copper pan....and was rich and light all once. I shared a side order of winter greens too, which I stirred in to finish up the rest of the delectable, citrussy sauce.
I also, of course, had room for dessert (I ALWAYS have room for dessert....!) and chose Tarte au Citron (without the chantilly cream, which I think masks the flavour) which is one of my very favourite puddings. This one was wonderful - so, so lemony, with a crispy and wafer thin base and a slightly crunchy bruleed top. I had to bash the back of Paul's hand with my teaspoon to stop him 'testing' too much!
It was good value too. We always try and guess the bill, and Paul (the champion at this game usually) was over by almost £25...a lovely surprise! We will definitely be back, perhaps with a few friends who we know would enjoy it. Wild Honey is still my favourite in the group, but it's great to see such a beautiful and accomplished opening in these straitened times.
Les Deux Salons - recommended. 7.5/10
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