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39 Whitfield Street
It’s a brave restaurateur who would take over a site as garlanded as what used to be Dabbous but having been co-owner, manager and sommelier of Pied à Terre, Mathieu Germond has built up a loyal following in Fitzrovia and beyond. The place is unrecognisable from its former life, not only in looks – the raw industrialism of Dabbous has been smoothed over with a lick of turquoise paint and an upholstering of red and grey velvet – but on the menu, with former Pied à Terre chef Ed Dutton cooking classic French bistro food, but executed with a finesse several notches of sophistication higher. Warm cheese gougères are thickly stuffed with strong Cheddar, glazed sweetbreads come with a liberal scattering of bosky morels, beautifully cooked scallops sit under thinly sliced cauliflower and, best of all, there’s a superb plateful of meltingly soft suckling pig belly with crisp crackling and silky, tarragon-infused pomme purée. Steep prices are generally worth it, although a terrine of foie gras, leek and pork simply advertised as ‘foie gras’ on the menu seemed disingenuous. Otherwise, this place is a charmer – Germond even nipped round to Pied à Terre to fetch some crackers for our plate of well-chosen cheese. Noizé, incidentally, is the name of a village in the Loire where Germond’s grandparents owned a farm, and the sparkling Vouvray is just one of the excellent Loire Valley wines on a list that can be sampled in the basement bar.
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
39 Whitfield Street
020 7323 1310
Goodge Street Tube Station 106m
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 530m
Goodge Street 78m
Charlotte Street 198m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Our first visit to these premises since Dabbous, which was a favourite for us. Its an altogether different experience, with a different, more conventional look to both the premises and the food. That said, whilst the style of the food is conventional French there is quite often something about the dishes that makes them noteworthy and that's always a good thing.
The people here are helpful and knowledgeable too, with the proprietor front of house making a useful suggestion on the wine front, and an interesting discussion on the state of London's coffee. Between us we sampled 2 snacks, starter, 2 mains and a dessert, and each of these dishes was properly made , tasty and served up looking nice. There are starred restaurants in London where the food isn't quite as good as that served to us today. In my view the package as presented here works better than it did at Pied a Terre, and Noize does give off a rather warmer feel than I recall from a visit to Pied a Terre a few years ago. I think bread and coffee are important components of a meal and we were delighted by those served here.
The bill for the two of us was £131, which kind of surprised me, as individual items hadn't seemed expensive on the menu. I seem to be saying more frequently these days that wine values are harder to find on lists than has been the case and the same is true at Noize, where there's not a lot under £30 on offer.
Still, taking all into account , we left feeling that we'd enjoyed the meal and the restaurant and that we may very well be back.
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