The Galvin brothers’ quietly stylish Café a Vin is ‘like an old friend’, say fans who drop by regularly for a Francophile fix. In contrast to grand La Chapelle next door, this place has all the trappings of a genuine French bistro: bustling service, smart wooden furniture, parquet flooring and a polished-metal bar, plus a menu of ‘gorgeous’, honest Gallic fare. We’ve been impressed by textbook tarte flambée, escargots and rock oysters with shallot vinegar, ahead of wood-roasted plaice with caper butter and Saddleback pork burger with choucroute and pommes allumette. Prix-fixe menus are admirable for this affluent part of town, while the compact wine list takes a whistle-stop tour of France, with a handful by the glass or ‘pot’. There’s live piano music twice a week, and a delightful garden terrace out back.
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