When one of Paris’s hottest and most beautiful brasseries opens an outpost in London, tails begin to wag. Les 110 de Taillevent launched in buzzy Marylebone last year and is the sister restaurant of the legendary French national treasure Le Taillevent. A name synonymous with French gastro-culture since it opened over 70 years ago, further bolstering its credentials with an impressive two Michelin stars. A restaurant group as adored for its refreshing vision as it is for its crisp white table linen, perenially garnering infamous influence on the ‘á la carte’ haute cuisine stage. Upon arrival, on a glorious sunny Thursday afternoon, not an empty seat in the room was to be seen. A grand open-plan dining room is filled with elegantly decorated tables and banquette seating, upholstered in bottle-green leather. A pretty unique offering of 110 wines by the glass impresses, each meticulously stored in sleek, black glass-fronted fridges framing a smart bar abuzz with hobnobbing locals and visitors. Housed in a neoclassical mansion on the corner of Cavendish Square, the design aesthetic here is understated elegance. High ceilings draw the eye to intricate mouldings, pretty marble floors are offset against dark oak boards. It also becomes quite apparent that despite its grand setting this outfit is a super-relaxed and approachable incarnation of its French counterpart and the emphasis is focused on the much-evolved concept of pairing locally sourced food with predominantly French wines. There is some serious choice on the immaculately presented triple-fold-out menu with 30 seasonally inspired dishes, all with four recommended wine pairings, ascending in price. This clever and unique concept caters to both the aspiring connoisseur and the less informed wine drinkers in equal mesaure. The on-point restaurant team were clued-up and informed, possessing a warm politeness, and gently offering helpful recommendations when prompted.
My companion tucked in to spelt lobster risotto, which arrived looking seriously special and, upon sampling, left me feeling a tad envious. Beautifully presented with one good-sized fleshy piece of lobster, surrounded by nutty spelt, cooked just so, nestled in a light, fragrant, bubbly bisque. My intriguingly named mushroom scrambled egg was a hint at chef’s creative genius; a blend of shaved, roasted mushrooms that made it perfectly balanced - an earthy yet wondrously yummy dish. Moving on to the main event, it was now my turn to indulge in some lobster - this time in ‘two servings’; the first perfectly executed with an entire tail and one claw. The meat was carefully roasted but without losing the creamy crunch, possessing a beautiful firm texture and naturally sweet taste, accompanied by the deep flavours of a thick-cream sauce. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t take long to devour. Next up, ravioli parcels, cooked al denté, and filled with juicy knuckle and spinach, joined by a pleasant saffron consommé. My companion’s generous Welsh beef fillet, two weeks on the bone, roasted and smoked, gave it an intensely smooth and meaty flavour whilst retaining a buttery-soft texture, was wolfed back in no time, hearing just a few yelps from a happy mouth. Light and fruity aubergine and tomato sat in a small ramekin beside some delicate, light-crisp puffed potato discs. Scrumptious. Feeling indulgent, and upon presentation of the menu, we were coerced into sharing the restaurant’s signature dessert – calamansi lemon pudding. Zesty and spiky, bringing together a medley of lemon, passion fruit, meringue, shortbread and a palate-cleansing hit of tequila and lime sorbet. A sort of mélange of brasserie-fine dining, Les 110 knows exactly what it is and is not afraid of experimenting. We’ll be back very soon.
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