“A special restaurant for a special occasion” Clos Maggiore simply oozes magic and romance – with an added soupçon of Gallic ooh-la-la for good luck. Love is always on the cards at this inviting Covent Garden hideaway – especially if you’re lucky enough to bag a table in the desirable glass-roofed conservatory with foliage and blossoms climbing overhead, fairy lights a-twinkling and star-gazing opportunities on balmy evenings.
If you’re unable to secure a booking in the deeply seductive conservatory itself, you can always decamp to one of the (slightly) less beguiling dining areas: either way, expect “superlative” French-accented cooking with rich, soothing overtones and some noticeable Mediterranean nuances.
Kick things off with pan-roasted Les Landes duck liver dressed with artichoke and hazelnut vinaigrette or a take on vitello tonnato involving fillet of Limousin veal, smoked tuna and anchovy mayonnaise plus pickled vegetables and croûtons. After that, keep things Gallic and seasonal with slow-cooked cod ‘rougaille’ or roast squab pigeon and confit leg with a truffle and onion tart, plus a warm lentil and beetroot salad on the side.
Vegetarians might be offered a casserole of new season’s vegetables served with a crispy purse of smoked soya cheese and Provençal aromatics, while intricate desserts always feature the signature ‘caramelised Valrhona chocolate sensation’ with burnt honey ice cream and Armagnac jelly as well as, say, white chocolate mousse and fresh gariguette strawberry ‘volupté with Sicilian pistachios and wild strawberry sorbet.
Service is invariably on point, and Clos Maggiore’s “very extensive” (but accessible) wine list also warrants serious exploration. No wonder this theatreland stalwart has achieved “absolute favourite” status and a legendary reputation among its legions of fans.