Little Social review: Pollen Street's classy and cosy Parisian-themed bistro

 
Steve Hogarty
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Little Social

WHAT? The pocket-sized little sister of Jason Atherton’s flagship Pollen Street restaurant, Little Social is a Parisian-themed bistro bedecked in dark wood and red leather banquettes, with homely wallpaper that’s barely visible behind a collection of Gallic tchotchkes and period French tourism posters. It’s all faux and make believe of course: the place opened in 2013. And it isn’t even in Paris.

WHERE? 5 Pollen Street, W1S 1NE. A sophisticated hideaway just off Regent’s Street, Little Social is near enough to Pollen Street Social that you could hurl your starter across the road and have it land all over table two. Not that you’d want to, as that’s both rude and a waste of a good soup.

WHO? Head chef Cary Docherty runs this operation, having worked under Little Social’s owner, the Michelin starred Jason Atherton, as well as popular swearing man from the television Gordon Ramsay.

ORDER THIS... The warm smoked eel with mini-discs of beetroot is pleasingly oily and rich with a citrus kick. And the creamy, nutty, braised chanterelles and parmesan tagliatelle sells itself short on the receipt, where it’s functionally described as a “veggie pasta”. Come on girl, you’re so much more than that. Believe in yourself.

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? Little Social’s intimate booths provide the perfect setting for discreet lunchtime conversation. There’s also a corner table that can be curtained off from the rest of the diners, in case you’re planning something devious.

NEED TO BOOK? Absolutely. Little Social doesn’t get its name from its cavernous interiors and tables fill up quickly at lunchtime. Reservations can be made online at littlesocial.co.uk

THE VERDICT... Somewhere this close to Atherton HQ couldn’t get away with less than excellent food and service. A classy, cosy bolthole of a bistro.

ONE MORE THING... Share a plate of maple glazed doughnuts. They come with little creme anglaise and cinnamon sugar dipping stations and make you feel like you’re doing some sort of tasty art project.

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