Neighbourhood restaurants are rarely destinations, more places of convenience. Eleanore refuses to fit the mould. Taking over from sibling site Little Chart Room (which has moved down the road), the restaurant is petite but perfectly formed. All neutral colours, hand-thrown tableware, and shelves of ferments.
An entire dining room of high tables and bar stools doesn’t read as a recipe for relaxation, but somehow the vibe is warm and laidback. This is bolstered by the genial staff who find time to chat to everyone in amongst a booked-out Saturday lunch service.
The meal gets better with every course, not that things don’t start out well. A bright raw scallop dish is topped with a mild jalapeño granita and crisp kohlrabi acts as a foil to the soft shellfish. Next there’s a plate of mushrooms that have been given the all-star treatment. King Oysters have been grilled; others sautéed. There are layers and layers of flavours as well as a vegan shiitake bordelaise sauce so meaty it makes you wonder if there’s been a mix up.
Then there are mains of sorts – we say sorts because everything is sharing style, whether big or small – of pasta and fish. The former a sweet and savoury clash of Irish soft cheese and soft leeks, garlic and toasted hazelnuts. The latter a beautifully plated piece of cod with little chou farci crab and cabbage parcels.
A special mention has to go to the dessert, a plate so perfect we did a little cheers over it. Let's talk tirami-choux. Layers of choux pastry, boozy mascarpone cream, coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce. It’s heaven and exactly what a dessert should be: pure undiluted indulgence.
Restaurants – at their best – allow us to escape everyday stresses and the unhurried experience at the restaurant does indeed remove you from the madness of life for a couple of hours while you enjoy a menu packed with exciting, contemporary cooking. We wish it was our local.