WHAT? The name might bring take-out paninis to mind, but Le Restaurant de Paul is actually the celebrated boulangerie’s second expansion into breakfast, lunch and evening dining. A roomy wine and cocktail bar separates the café from the dining room, the final clue that you’re in no ordinary Paul.
WHERE? Paul takes pride of place on the ground floor of Tower 42 on Old Broad Street. With seating for 90 indoors and 40 out, it’s hard to miss.
WHO? Parisian designers Coorengel and Calvagrac introduce a colourful splurge of art deco armchairs, filament bulbs and black and mirrored tiles. Gourmet burgers are supplied by butcher to the royals, Donald Russell.
ORDER THIS... Those burgers mark the biggest departure from the lunchtime norm, and Donald Russell’s weighty, dry-aged boeuf in brioche is a hard patty to beat. Paul’s patisserie furnishes the dessert menu with the choux pastries and macarons, for which it’s famed.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? Sharing platters filled with tiny artisan sandwiches are ideal for client meetings. With the cocktail bar open until 11pm, Paul’s an energetic venue for after work drinks, too.
NEED TO BOOK? Given its location, lunchtime tables are likely to fill up. Paul takes bookings at paul-uk.com.
THE VERDICT: The menu’s a little unadventurous, but these are safe French classics, with tried and tested flavours aimed to please both the breakfasting crowd as well as the after-work diners.
ONE MORE THING... This venue will soon play host to Paul’s popular bread-making masterclasses, where experts will teach you the tricks of their dough-bothering trade.