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10 Bow Church Yard
‘I’ve been coming here for over 35 years, so it must be good’, remarked a long-time devotee of this enduring little Francophile restaurant and wine bar next to St Mary-le-Bow – sit at one of the
buzzy alfresco tables and you could almost be in Lyon or Bordeaux. Alternatively, head indoors and make a beeline for the plush dining room or the unfussy panelled bar. Either way, the food keeps
it straight and true, sending out gravadlax with dill dressing before char-grilled Scottish rib-eye steak with fat triple-cooked chips and Béarnaise sauce, liver and bacon, or roast cod fillet with
romano beans and salsa verde. Many dishes are available in two sizes, and there’s a simpler menu of sandwiches, sharing platters, ‘great’ sausages and suchlike at the bar. ‘Superb’ staff know how
to charm, and the French-led wine list is refreshingly broad.
Best Private Rooms: >30
10 Bow Church Yard
Mansion House Tube Station 239m
St. Paul's Tube Station 292m
Mercers' Hall 155m
Painters' Hall 220m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Bow Wine Vaults is an institution in The City. Situated on Bow Lane, a quaint walk way connecting Cheapside and Queen Victoria Street; BWV serves up hearty food for busy City folk who enjoy a bottle over lunch.
Food includes traditional dishes; prawn cocktails and terrine to start, followed by the Veal Milanese with tomato spaghetti or calves liver with bacon. As a regular diner here; I can honestly say, I've never had a bad meal here.
There are two levels to the restaurant, downstairs in the main dining room or upstairs in the brasserie. Both have good ambience, however on a Thursday or Friday lunch time, it gets busy and you risk being slightly sat on top of each other if you chose upstairs. A sign of the good food... There is also the option of sandwiches (the swiss cheese, ham and picallili is great), sharing platters and other nibbles such as welsh rarebit at the bar.
The wine list has a number of options and they start at a very reasonable level. If you have a networking lunch in the diary and don't want to blow the bank; this is a good option.
The staff look after their customers well, and once your face is remembered you can want for nothing!
Food + drink: 0
I went for lunch there for second time in a month and that just confirmed in my mind what a poor restaurant this is. The venue itself is great but the service is distinctly average and the food poor.
When arriving the waitress omitted to tell us what the chefs special was and that the duck had sold out which of course I only discovered when I tried to order the duck! quite how a restaurant can run out of duck at 12:30 when there were only 3 other tables occupied is beyond me. I ordered the veal escalope with tagliatelle instead with goats cheese and marintaed beetroot to start.
The presentation of the starter was interesting. Lumps of obviously packet goats cheese lined up alternating with the beetroot which incidentally was NOT marinated at all. When I ordered it I asked for a sprinkling of hazelnuts which were part of another dish. When it arrived they'd used walnuts which is fine but why didnt they just say they were doing that. The lettuce was nice but the cheese was awful and beetroot tasteless.
My main course of veal escalope was dripping in oil. Now I know its fried but that doesn't mean that it has to be oozing with oil. As for the tagliatelle, well my 11 year old could have made a better tomato sauce.
I didn't bother with dessert, I could couldn't face the inevitable disappointment. I did have a coffee though, supposedly an espresso.
After lunch we went upstairs ot the bar. I tried ordering a coffee but was told “the machines have been turned off”. Oh dear.
Its a great venue but the food is very expensive for what it is. Reading other reviewers mentioning they've been coming here for 30+ years tells me 2 things :-
1/ the quality of the menu and cooking are straight from the 1980's 2/ they are obviously relying on their past reputation
Both times I've been there the restaurant has been nearly empty which is not a surprise.
Great potential but poorly executed. I will NOT be back.
Food + drink: 5
I have been coming here for over 35 years so it must be good!
The service and cuisine is great whether one just calls in for a Platter at the Bar or sample the great Susages with an excellent selection of wines, Pinot Grigio always good or if you have time a meal downstairs where the service is always supurb. Liver & Bacon is a must and the Salmon Fish Cakes are another favourite
The restaurant upstairs is equally as good and the staff fantastic, try the Dish of the day or if you get stuck the Asparagus is superb and the Steak excellent. The atmosphere is always superb so try it you will not be disappointed!
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