Taking up three floors of a Regency townhouse, Gauthier Soho is a restaurant that thrives on surprising people. Step through the unassuming, glossy black door and you will actually discover a high-end French restaurant in what looks and feels like a moneyed Soho resident’s front room – albeit one with lots of tables.
The second major surprise comes in the form of the menu. Despite seeming like a classic old-school fine dining establishment, Gauthier actually has one major difference – the food here is mostly vegetarian and vegan. The kitchen’s output is masterminded by French chef Alexis Gauthier, an Alain Ducasse protégé with a penchant for cooking vegetarian and vegan cuisine alongside more conventional offerings.
The seasonal à la carte might include pancetta tortellini in a deeply aromatic chicken jus, pink-roasted loin and rack of Welsh lamb with spiced butternut squash, dates, pistachio and braised spelt or sparkling-fresh wild halibut with salsify and girolles, each labelled with a calorie count – a detail that typifies Gauthier’s nutrition-conscious ethos.
If you are avoiding meat and the like though, there are plenty of options to keep you satisfied, or as one reader puts it, Gauthier is “fabulous for vegetarians, with real choice.” Perhaps golden glazed swede with a miso-infused dressing will take your fancy, or maybe Rainbow Swiss chard parcels with a roasted chestnut velouté will be the one for you.
More indulgent diners shouldn’t miss the “heavenly” Louis XV chocolate praline, but there are some vegan desserts too – think cherry opaline with dill mousse and vegan yoghurt sorbet. If you prefer liquid desserts, oenophiles will have plenty of fun with a hefty list that favours the Old World. We are also big fans of extra touches including the “amazing” breads and “fabulous array” of French cheeses. Super polite service, hushed voices and loud prices confirm Gauthier Soho as an old-style, special-occasion dining venue, but one that caters for contemporary tastes.