Melissa York on the best places to eat during office hours in the City and Canary Wharf
WHAT? Raymond Blanc’s first City brasserie re-opened last month after a complete refurbishment. Gone are the fussy white tablecloths and pristine cutlery, in favour of rustic oak tables, thick ceramics, pendant light fixtures and vintage French mirrors.
WHERE? We visited the restaurant on Threadneedle Street, which also boasts a cocktail bar, al fresco dining area and mezzanine for private functions.
WHO? Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, of course. He’s added a new section on the menu, Les Classiques, featuring dishes from his childhood.
ORDER THIS... There’s plenty of comforting stodge here to warm your cockles in the run up to Christmas, like the 18-hour venison casserole with seasonal vegetables and cheese souffle served up in a tiny saucepan. Save space for the crepes suzette, too, which come doused and flambéd in orange and Cointreau sauce.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? Definitely a prime business spot. Suits are practically de rigueur and there’s ample space between tables to ensure privacy.
NEED TO BOOK? It’s quieter in the mornings but lunch fills up fast. Call 020 7710 9440 or visit brasserieblanc.com/book-table to make a reservation.
THE VERDICT... A welcome revamp that felt a long time coming. A halfway house between flavourless franchise and fine dining, with a menu that covers a lot of bases, whether you’re after traditional French fare or a simple beetroot salad.
ONE MORE THING... If sweet things aren’t your raison d’etre, there’s a separate menu curated by top cheese fiend Eric Charriaux, co-founder of West London’s La Cave a Fromage.