Le Café du Marché 1

22 Charterhouse Square , London, EC1M 6BX

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  • Le cafe du marche 2

SquareMeal Review of Le Café du Marché

Le Café du Marché has been around for 30-odd years and there’s “no risk of it changing” any time soon. If you loved it back in the day, you’ll love it now as it still feels as fresh as a daisy – a traditional bistro where there’s “never an empty glass”. The exposed beams, large mirrors, prints and candlelit tables set a mood matched by a prix-fixe menu that won’t shake the foundations of the mews in which it lives. The fish soup with associated accoutrements is all you’d hope for, côte de boeuf is a mighty slab for two to share, and the open lobster ravioli shows a more refined side with its embellishments of pea purée and beurre blanc. The menu changes monthly with some daily additions such as a soup and market fish to spice things up (super-fresh grilled John Dory, say), while desserts such as apple and quince tart deserve your full attention.

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8.1

Food & Drink: 7.8

Service: 7.6

Atmosphere: 8.6

Value: 7.5

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Arjan O. 01 July 2014

This place feels like a real ‘find’, as if you are in a village in the Cotswold or better south of France. The menu is varied and interesting: both for meat lovers (fantastic Cote du Boeff) and vegetarian (one of us) with nice presentation and good sides. The service is fast and to the point. Wine card limited and as in many London restaurants totally overpriced. (10 GBP for a glass of average/normal Bordeaux…). One of us was up for grilled Tuna (without the salad Nicoise) This became a bit of a disaster. It was rare and too raw, when grilled again, it became hard to eat and digest…however they took it off the bill! (real classy). Deserts looked fantastic but we had to run to make the start of our concert at the Barbican…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Beth J bronze reviewer 17 October 2013

Don't get me wrong, I love London. The dawdling tourists, commuters armpits and the incessant tutting of those who simply cannot walk but must run to every destination and heaven forbid their be anyone in their way. But sometimes, just sometimes you want to escape this beauty on a Friday evening. I love Farringdon, it's like a little village in the middle of the big smoke, so when you take a stroll down the cobbled backstreet towards Le Cafe Du Marche, London disappears further and you feel like you really could be walking down some little ‘rue’ in France. If you want some flash restaurant with no atmosphere and looks, well, beige then Le Cafe du Marche is not for you. If you want the genuine thing then great head on over! 3 courses for £34.85 and some good rouge to help wash it down with. I think this is pretty damn good, especially for the likes of Braised Oxtail, snails and Parsnip puree. The staff are friendly, good atmosphere as the room started to fill up around 8:30pm and great quality… give authenticity a try.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Matthew W. 28 May 2013

…Came here to celebrate my partners birthday, intending to eat fine food in a casual and intimate setting. Le Cafe delivered perfectly. The food was delicious, the wine list well thought out and broad and the atmosphere perfect for that combination of delicious grub and witty, wine encouraged conversation you're looking for on a date. With live piano and double bass adding a gentle background sound to the hubbub of conversation, to the charming service. It was busy, bubbly but it never felt crowded, just a lovely buzz to carry you through the meal. A thoroughly fantastic experience and will definitely return. Cannot recommend highly enough

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

John A. 21 May 2011

April 2011 Always authentic french country atmosphere, but with that typical french arrogant service which is so annoying but not bad. Food this time was good but not outstanding- venison not aged enough. again (this seems to be happening all too often these days) the portions were on the small side

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Pa C. bronze reviewer 29 July 2010

This place is just great. Its everything French food should be – homely, unpretentious, well cooked, well presented and served well. Coete de bouef for 2, Duck Confit, Chicken Tajine is all very very good and served with a simple salad or fresh vegtables. From the look of the new website it also looks like they now offer a very good priced set menu. It is in my opinion the best French place to eat in town and for a relaxed but also elegant setting this is the place to go.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Chris70 platinum reviewer 02 October 2009

Just looking at their web site, it looks like we ate in the café section, although I didn’t know that there were different sections. Something you’d think they’d ask when you book. The menu is in French, so for those of us lacking our French O-level it makes ordering a little tricky. Fortunately with my fake Allo Allo style French accent I bluffed my way through. For starters I had Jambon cru, figues et gorgonzola, which sounded much more exciting in French than it looked on the plate, but as ham and cheese go, it was quite good. For main I had one of the specials, cod in a prawn and seafood sauce/ broth. A passion fruit sabayon finish me off. All in all very good food, and pretty reasonable at £33.85 for the 3 courses.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Claire H. 02 June 2009

This is one of my all time favourite restaurants. Every time I've visited, it's been a lovely experience all round. Everything about it, from the rustic charm of the interior and the cobbled street leading up to it, to the lighting and gentle piano playing in the background, makes an evening feel special. The côte de boeuf is consistently good and always cooked exactly as requested, and the accompanying potato dishes and vegetables or salad of the day are always of optimum freshness and quality, and cooked or dressed to perfection. Other dishes I have eaten there, including the fish soup, chick pea salad and fish of the day have been good, if not excellent. They have a fantastic and extensive wine list, and the sommelier recommends well. The waiting staff are always pleasant and helpful, and I like the nack they seem to have of judging when you need attending to and when you want to be left alone. I also like the way they care to state that they do not use GM ingredients on their menu. I could nit-pick about the food being a little too salty for my taste or about the service on the odd occasion, but essentially it's a trusty place that never lets me down.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

robert b. platinum reviewer 15 September 2008

Service is very erratic and sometimes typically French. I am not a fan of the set dinner menu, which I think is too limited and not very good value. Lunch offers a better experience.

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  • Grenier private dining room
  • Grenier private dining room
  • Grenier boardroom
  • Grenier private dining room
  • Grenier private dining room
  • Cafe Du Marche exterior

The big and bright Le Grenier room can accommodate 8-60 guests, features exposed roof trusses and is decorated with exposed brickwork, white tablecloths, terracotta flower pots and candlelight. It lies above the restaurant and has been used as both a corset factory and a medical storage warehouse for St Bart’s hospital in the past. Le Grenier also has its own kitchen and bar.

Le Genier
Capacity: 60