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|Address:||1a Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HH|
|Tel:||020 7768 0258|
|Price: £39.00||Wine: £16.00||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5-10pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
An anonymous doorway on Bedford St, just off the Strand (see what they did there…) takes you downstairs and into a well designed white tiled, mirror lined bistro. It isn't difficult to find, but is thankfully anonymous enough not to appeal to the tourist herds piling in to TGI Friday two doors up for their chicken wing shakes.
Desk bound working lunches are the norm in the UK, with work done over an actual lunch (by which I mean useful business related conversation) seen as a bit of a perk. They wouldn't go for it on the continent… Bedford and Strand is the kind of place that Keith Floyd would have unearthed in a railway station in rural France. In short, the sort of place that we should all have access to regularly. They do a two course set lunch for £12 and to be honest, I'd be in there most days if i worked in the neighbourhood. A casual meeting with Ed Hitter in Chief was proposed and he kindly offered lunch at his ‘local’.
It's a simple rustic French brasserie menu with a great little wine list priced by ‘reliable’, ‘honest’, ‘decent’ and ‘good’. I wasn't drinking, but there were enough here by the glass that I was made to feel slightly envious. Like some of the best spots round here it was a former wine cellar, think Gordons or Terroirs, and there's something of the dark, comfortable evening venue about the place. Leaving into the sunlight felt frankly wrong.
I can honestly say that there wasn't anything I wouldn't have eaten from the menu. Cauliflower and White Truffle Oil soup vied for my attention among the starters alongside Chicken Liver Parfait, Goose Rillette and potted crab. We were on a time constraint so skipped sadly by and onto the mains. A couple of nearby city types from large local employer Coutts on the Strand tucked into large, padded well seared steaks, served with crispy looking thin frites. The money managers murmured their approval.
On a (slight) health kick, I skipped the Braised Rabbit in a Mustard Sauce and a wonderful sounding Parmesan Crust Pork Chop and went for the Chicken Caesar Salad. large slabs of plumb charred chicken breast arrived on a well seasoned salad with the (admittedly inauthentic) bonus of crispy bacon strips. The dressing was fresh, piquant and delightful. Ed Hitter in Chief took plump fishcakes in hand, they looked stunning, a mixture of smoked haddock and seasoned potato in a crisp crumb.
A very solid option for the area, and proof of Covent Garden's delightful ability to reinvent old spaces and manage to provide well for the locals as well as the tourists, something it's more difficult to say for transatlantic cousin, Times Square.