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Kentish Town is already full of French folk drawn here by the bilingual school and proximity to St Pancras, but the area is now even more appealing to Francophiles thanks to Patron – a neighbourhood cave à manger from the couple who previously ran Soho’s Café Gourmand. The short menu is dominated by some “great French staples”, from small plates of tender steak tartare or wild mushrooms on sourdough toast to hefty mains such as confit duck, cassoulet or moules marinière Back-up comes from artisan charcuterie and whiffy French cheeses, while desserts are in the traditional mould of crème brûlée or warm chocolate brownie. Inside it’s rather plain and slightly cramped, although the sunny outdoor tables, dominant curved bar and resident dog make amends. Unlike most of London’s French restaurants, Patron is the real deal – right down to its “romantic” vibe and classically Gallic service.
Tucked in a row of shops a bit further up the street then you expect is Patron Cave a Manger. This French Bistro a tiny place with a touch of an industrial look. There’s an exposed brick wall and mirrors and chalkboards. There is something about the marble bar with wooden panelling, huge mirror and brick wall that made it feel in someway like a 20s speakeasy.We started with some cocktails and nibbles. I order the Speakeasy Punch (&5) mostly because it said it came in a tea cup and I’m so into quirky things like that. Meanwhile my husband ordered a French Kiss (&10) which had raspberries and chili and was quite...
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