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|Address:||66 Baker Street, London W1U 7DJ|
|Tel:||020 3641 8321|
|Price: £49.00||Wine: £18.00||Champagne: £46.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3pm) 6-10.30pm (Thurs-Sat -10.45pm Sun -9.30pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Friends, Marylebone, countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to bury Galvin, not to praise him. Unlike Marc Anthony, however, I am not being ironic; it really was the case that, on the showing of last evening, GBDL should be well and truly buried. To be fair, I have been here a number of times, and this is the only time that I have felt the evening to be anything other than very good. But I am reviewing last night, so what can I say; it wasn't a terribly good evening.
We were walk-ins, so had a seat in the middle of the room, by which the serving staff and diners pass every few seconds. It was this or outside on Baker Street, with its buses and other assorted road traffic passing every few seconds.
Things started fine; we were settled into seats, given menus, bread and water. So far, so good. Orders were taken. Again, looking good. Then it all started to unravel: how many times have I complained about wine arriving after the food? There is a set pattern to meals now: take a seat, order, wine arrives, food arrives, coffee, pay and leave. The restaurant wouldn’t like it if you reversed the latter two, so why or why do we get food that sits and waits for the wine to arrive? Come on guys, it isn’t that hard. Food goes with wine, wine goes with food. It works. Always has done, always will. Try harder.
You will have gathered that the wine didn’t arrive. The food did. Piping hot snails, drowning in garlic butter, crusted with parsley; and a thick veloute of broad beans with hard boiled egg. Hard boiled? Surely soft would have worked better. Never mind; both were pleasant, both work better with wine. So we asked. And then we asked the maitre d’. He brought the red. We had ordered a white to start. He brought it. Didn’t offer a sniff; just poured. He left.
Now it is nice of the restaurant to do wines by the carafe, but they: (a) shouldn’t sit around at the service area; and (b) should be served as any bottle would: it could be off. Let me at least give it a cursory olfactory test.
Worse was to come with the mains mind. First there was the wait. Having had the starters rushed to the table before the wine could be served, the mains it seems were being delayed. Maybe so that we finished the wine and had to order more. On arrival, the risotto was pleasing enough, even if the toms were cold, not having been sat in the warmth of the rice long enough. The brain dish, however, was just wrong. I like a nice veal brain, and the brains themselves were a delight: crispy on the outside, melting within. The trouble was they were swimming, nay engulfed in black butter; an oil slick of BP proportions, completely covering the mashed potato that fought like a seabird to escape from the injustice done to it. The black butter is there to enhance, to add to, not overwhelm the centrepiece: the brains.
We couldn’t face any more, so got the bill. Not cheap, not really cheerful. A shame really, as it can be such a great place, as previous visits have proved. Clearly, when it has an off night, Galvin Bistro De Luxe does it with the utmost Gallic flair.