It’s directly opposite Pollen Street Social, but Jason Atherton’s new gaff inhabits a very different world indeed. Step through the black door, past the heavy curtain and you’re immediately in a humming Parisian cocoon populated by aproned staff with French accents and big smiles; all around, close-packed rustic wood tables, ox-blood banquettes, map and prints set the mood perfectly as the good times begin. The kitchen shows its bistro colours with prix-fixe lunches of tuna niçoise tartine, roasted gurnard with saffron mash and glazed tarte Tatin comme il faut, but the full menu moves upwards with bowls of spoon-licking cauliflower and crayfish risotto, unctuous braised ox cheek or roast cod with butter beans, spring cabbage and cabbage pesto – intricate, earthy flavours presented with style for big-city palates. To drink, get seduced by the racy French wine list or perch at the bar with a cocktail and imagine you’re on the Boulevard Saint-Michel.
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