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41 North Audley Street
Opened by three childhood friends with a love of food and drink, the North Audley Cantine (N.A.C) is a chilled-out and “stylistically stunning” Mayfair bistrot/cocktail lounge offering French sharing plates in a cool, clean-lined setting of whitewashed walls, brown leather banquettes and contemporary lighting, with gorgeous crockery and bread served in “stripy paper bags”. Graze your way through gussied-up classics served on mismatched willow-pattern plates – think tuna niçoise, ‘oeuf parfait’ with forest mushrooms, grissini-crusted veal escalope or seared scallops with roasted butternut squash. Cheese platters go down well with a glass or two of knowledgeably sourced wine, before you hit the sweet spot with profiteroles, madeleines or dark chocolate tart and hazelnut ice cream. Downstairs, the basement lounge/bar has been rebooted in retro-chic, Rive Gauche style and renamed Chez Chow in honour of the chef/patron’s diminutive dog.
41 North Audley Street
Bond Street Tube Station 344m
Marble Arch Tube Station 444m
Marks & Spencer (Marble Arch) 203m
Mon-Fri 7.30am-10.45am Mon-Sat 12N-5pm 6-12M
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
In a nutshell:
- pros: tasty food (ordered the salmon), comfortable atmosphere and good desserts
- cons: food was cold; they were out of the burgers and when we ordered the veal, they were out of the veal as well. Service was friendly but snail pace slow.
will I come back, maybe.
Food + drink: 4
The food was excellent, the service attentive, the ambiance engaging... and then as voices got louder during the eventing, so did the music, to the point that we couldn't hear each other on a table of four.
The really disappointing element was being told that it wasn't possible to turn the music down - the manager clearly had difficulty hearing the feedback!
Despite the somewhat pretentious name, NAC (an acronym for North Audley Cantine; the last word making me think more of Shoreditch, and then cringing) is a very welcome addition to the north-west Mayfair dining scene. This is not a formal place along the lines of Fera, Maze, Helene Daroze and the like, but a beautifully created and very informal bistot. One can’t help feeling relaxed here, a perfect sort of place to come either for a lunch or just a coffee. The white-washed walls and retro furniture work here, making NAC feel airy and spacious. The staff were friendly but in no sense overbearing and the food is simple yet effective – maybe the motto for the whole restaurant. You can often judge the quality of a restaurant by its bread – and NAC amply passed the test, its offering being fresh and moist, inventively brought to the table pre-sliced in a red and white stripy paper bag. Two of our party opted for the Cajun chicken, while the third sampled the tuna salad. Both dishes were elegantly presented and the clear impression was on freshness and quality of ingredients. The pricing was very reasonable (mains come in at around £10-15) and we also indulged in a pleasant glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a lovely match for a summer’s occasion. This place should prosper and the only slight disappointment (more so for the owners than us) was how relatively quiet it seemed. Go now, before you struggle to get a seat there.
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