Gavroche: a First in Classics, our last night in London

A stately silver pelican greeted us as we sat down and looked around. Gavroche is a "forever" restaurant. In "good" times, you can play " tell the arms dealers from the investment bankers," but in "not so good" times, the atmosphere seems a lot more festive, because people who want to treat themselves for a special occasion are doing so with enthusiasm, while the others are out somewhere else scheming and hustling. The menu moves with the times, but not ahead of them. Beloved classics are gently updated, still familiar.

This, for example, is the Artichoke Lucullus (my starter). I took a picture of it after I'd cut into it. Yes, there's an artichoke there, but mainly there's foie gras, lighter-than-air chicken mousse, black truffles, and sauce périgourdine. I had this dish when I first came here, as a kid (was that you muttering "as a spoiled brat?" I'll remember that!), and at that time the dish looked different, because the artichoke leaves formed a wreath around the masterpiece in the middle, and you had to pick up each leaf for a nibble before getting to the really good stuff. The artichoke bottom is still, as it should be, at the bottom. The streamlining is an improvement.

Next, the rabbit. It's a roast saddle of rabbit, the delicate white meat cut into chunks and stacked, with shallots and some other rabbit bits, between crisp fried potato cakes, the whole topped with a parmesan wafer.

I didn't have dessert, but Himself
 loves the Omelette Rothschild, 
essentially a floppy soufflé with candied fruit.

As we left, we passed a silver frog on a neighboring table. Each table has a different silver animal, most made with at least one piece of restaurant silver. The frog's tongue, fittingly for a table where you want to lap up the gravy, was made from a spoon. I could have sworn he winked at us.


  1. Oh - this looks amazing!!! Do you have any recommendations for great restaurants in Paris for when I go in August? I would trust your recommendation!

  2. Hi, WMM, August is tricky, because the Parisians vacation in unison (all together now, flee!) which means, of course, that the majority of restaurants are closed. It's easier to shut down a restaurant for a few weeks than to sub in personnel or run short-staffed; and of course, suppliers take vacations too. Kind of like the jewelry business in New York the first 2 weeks in July.

    Fortunately there is a great blog called Paris By Mouth, and last summer they researched which restaurants would be open during at least some of August 2011, with dates. I'm hoping they'll publish a similar list this July. Here is a link to last summer's list. There's a great variety in price, quality and location on the list, the criterion was "open," but I think it's the most exhaustive of its kind. If you'll remind me when this year's list goes up, I'll post comments on any restos that I've been to.

  3. What fun to have the silver animals. I quite like the look of that pelican. The food looks great too, of course. Where are you off to next or are you homeward bound?

  4. I went to Le Gavroche eons ago with my ex, on our honeymoon. Failed union aside, that was one of the most memorable dining experiences I've had. Ever. Felt like if I'd dropped a fork, the waiter would have sprung into action and catch it before it hits the floor. The service was truly amazing, and the food! Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  5. Hi, xoxo, trip continues, Chunnel to Paris next.

  6. Hi, Closet Crisis, I agree, it's just perfection.

  7. Hello:
    As dinners go, this looks to be, and we are certain tasted, as close to pure heaven as it is possible to get, at least as far as eating out in London is concerned. We were much amused by your comment relating to people spotting - always an engaging occupation - but are, for ourselves, less certain about the silver pelican and frog, et al!

  8. Hello, Jane and Lance! The animals are smallish and the collection is a Roux family heirloom, so we smiled at them and just focussed on the food. Which is as it should be.


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