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restaurants � food
Chateaubriand, for con rmation. The Parisian
Le Chateaubriand gave the city's restaurant
scene a shot in the arm and its chef, Inaki
Aizpitarte, a reputation as one of the pioneers
of 'Bistronomie' - a movement seeing
excellent food shift from stu y, expensive
pretentiousness to relaxed and informal
environs with a ordable pricing to match.
However, Le Chabanais' eventual summer
opening after awkward venue issues was
roundly panned by critics as overpriced
and underwhelming, a world away from
the casual fun of Le Chateaubriand. It lost
star attraction Aizpitarte and shut its doors
shortly after, reopening in September as 8
sums it up perfectly when he says: "Until
recently, French restaurants in London meant
Michelin stars and formal ne dining, but
we're showing it doesn't have to be that way.
In my Maida Vale restaurant you can eat a
good meal for £30 a head."
You only need to look at what happened
at Mayfair's Le Chabanais, the second
venue from the team behind France's Le
Here's the lowdown on three French restaurants opening this autumn. Vite vite!
9 Islington Green, N1 8DU
Corbin � King's latest venue sees Alsace-themed cuisine come to Islington in November.
High ABV beers and great wines in Islington? It'll never catch on.
16 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
The husband-and-wife team behind the acclaimed Paris restaurant are bringing Frenchie to
Covent Garden in January 2016, combining classical French technique with British ingredients.
LE PONT DE LA TOUR
36G Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
Previously known more for its exceptional views than its food, its September reopening featured
a complete overhaul of both interior and menu. The new chef, Frederick Forster, comes from
Boundary, via Le Gavroche and Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons.
Mount Street with a completely new team
and "more informal" menu. Londoners may
enjoy the honed gastronomic traditions
brought here by French restaurateurs, but as
a city seeking the new and exciting, the edge
of Bistronomie would have fared better.
Great food is like a £ ame that needs certain
conditions in order to burn at its brightest.
The raw talent of the chefs is the fuel, the
galvanising momentum of the London food
scene and its novelty-hungry diners is the
heat, while the oxygen is a culinary climate
making change and innovation possible.
Sorry Paris - it looks like London's light isn't
going out any time soon.
From left: Céleste's Eric
Fréchon and Florian
Favario; tarte au citron
from Les Gourmets
des Ternes; pastry chef
Joakim Prat; Prat's Maître
Choux eclairs. Below: 'La
from Big Fernand