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|Address:||54 St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4EA|
|Tel:||020 7836 2645|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £18.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)|
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There's a lot not to understand about the Green Man & French Horn. Firstly, what is it? The 90s gave us “gastro-pub”, a traditional pub which aims to serve restaurant quality food. So what do you call a restaurant, charging restaurant prices and with focus on food, but which wants to feel like a casual boozer with its pubby name, pubby facade, pubby decor and pubby bar? I'm not sure I get it. Casual dining, yes, but charging me a fortune to sit in something which looks and feels like my local, no. Secondly, the menu. The minority that understands it no doubt get a great ego massage; the rest of us feel like unnerved fools. Despite there being 6 well educated people round the table, including 2 who had spent a year each at business school in Paris, we still had to look up the meaning of 75% of it. I don't like gadgets being pulled out at dinner (no I don't want to see pictures of your kids/cat/last meal) but Google was a necessity here. So if you are coming, word of advice, make sure you have signal, and look up the following in advance: andouillette, rillettes, remoulade, nantais(e), vigneronne. Or risk tying the waitress up for hours. Thirdly, service: why tell everyone that they must give orders in order so you can get the mise-en-place (her words, not mine) and then look bewildered when you deliver the dishes, and ask whose is what anyway? Finally, and most importantly, why isn't the food better? I chose well and had lovely earthy wild mushrooms with gooey egg, and well—matched squid with oaty, lightly spiced black pudding but the white chocolate mousse tasted very little of chocolate and the others were unimpressed with dull dishes lacking love. We did like the bread being served in a Quo Vadis branded basket. It wasn't a total rip-off at under £50 a head for a three course meal with wine but I won't remember this place or this meal and won't return. I hope it doesn't kick off a “tavernaurant” craze.