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182 Gray's Inn Road
020 7713 0107
A destination for fans of quirky French opulence, much-loved Otto’s is built on the knowledge and warmth of its eponymous owner – it’s also “fantastic fun”. The interior is a homely mishmash of velvet banquettes, black and white photos, odd statuettes and low-hanging vintage lights, with its biggest draw – two vintage presses (duck and lobster respectively) – displayed centre stage. Pre-order the “not to be missed” canard à la presse, and you’ll find Otto doing the necessary prep over an improvised ice-bucket stove when you arrive. A numbered duck appears for inspection, then returns glistening and golden to be carved tableside and pressed for the glorious sauce. Alternatively, bag a bargain set lunch of scallops with broad bean purée and boudin noir, followed by roast partridge with wild mushrooms and yet more commendable saucing. Puddings such as chocolate praline charlotte often come with a flaming flourish, while Gallic rarities and bargains naturally dominate the wine list at this “French treasure”.
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Best in Bloomsbury
Best French Restaurants in London
182 Gray's Inn Road
020 7713 0107
Chancery Lane Tube Station 544m
Farringdon Tube Station 670m
Gray's Inn 481m
London Metropolitan Archives 535m
Tue-Fri 12N-2.30pm Sat 6pm-10pm
A true one-off, Otto Tepassé’s restaurant is somewhere that must be visited at least once by anyone with an interest in the London restaurant scene. Group dining is the best way to get the most from the house specialities of duck, lobster and chicken, prepared à la presse; if your budget doesn’t extend that far, two set menus cost £45/58 for two/three courses featuring old-school classics like pigeon terrine, tournedos Rossini and tarte Tatin. Up to 30 diners can be seated in the basement dining room, which, with its velvet-upholstered dining chairs, black-and-white checkerboard tiles, pretty blue and white china and vintage film posters, is every bit as quirkily traditional as the restaurant upstairs. To drink, choose from a 14-page wine which major on the classic regions of France.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Our reservation on a Saturday evening normally a busy time for quality restaurants proved to be a delight for the 6 members of staff on the floor looking a tad bored.
We were 2 of 15 other diners, not a lot of conversation or the normal buzz one would expect.
All of the above aside and we should talk food and drink, limited menu with very good wine list with a small selection of 1/2 bottles, very good for those wanting to try 2 or 3 different wines with a very well presented French meal.
Unfortunately, not a fantastic meal, but a reasonable meal.
7.1/2 - 10
Food + drink: 5
Really enjoyed Otto's, food and service was excellent, a real find I will definitely be back! A really good French treasure.
I know I have already raved about this restaurant in my previous review but I had to update you on the Canard a la Presse, which I have now had the good fortune to devour. This has to be pre-booked as they fly these top of the range ducks from Paris. First, it is presented to us raw, feathers and all, which my mother in law seemed to enjoy. Then our little duck was sizzled in front of us in towering flames and showmanship and then the piece de resistance the sparkling shiny solid silver presse. This contraption with the help of mother in law crushed the beautiful rich ducky juices to create the jus of all jus. The duck liver is served 1st fried with cognac and jus on toast, 3 mouthfuls of extreme French richness. Then, the star dish in its glory, sliced pink and finely with fluffy pommes soufflés and clean yummy green beans with that wonderful rich deep us. Final course sauted duck leg with salad.
This is the best duck I have ever had.
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