Headed up by French chef Thierry Laborde, Les Platanes is a French bistro on the former site of short-lived Babel House on cutesy Bruton Place. The restaurant is located inside a 19th-century townhouse and benefits from a charming street-side terrace which sits below awnings branded with the restaurant’s name.
Laborde’s CV is impressive – restaurant enthusiasts may remember him from the classically French Chabrot Bistrot d’Amis in Knightsbridge and Smithfield, but he’s also worked in the kitchens of high-end Michelin-starred joints such as Le Gavroche and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, so he’s no stranger to pleasing Mayfair diners.
Unsurprisingly, the menu at Les Platanes is a homage to French food, paying special attention to the south of France. To start, tuck into the likes of a warm potato salad topped with poached duck egg and caviar, or perhaps a lobster salad with fennel and fresh peaches.
Groups can share one of the menu’s larger dishes as a main course, such as roast chicken from Gascony, served with foie gras and extra fine beans. There are regular-sized main courses too, though – think Cornish turbot served alongside artichokes à la barigoule. For dessert, you can round off your meal on a sweet note with Paris Brest, the classic French dessert which consists of choux pastry stuffed with a praline-flavoured cream.
From the wine list, you can expect a selection of Bordeaux, Provence and Languedoc wines, which are surprisingly fairly priced given the Mayfair location. Several are available by-the-glass or carafe too, although there are more expensive options too for diners looking to splash the cash.
Les Platanes is in good company on Bruton Place, which is already home to old-school gems Bellamy’s and the Guinea Grill. With its sunny French cooking, Les Platanes brings a welcome breeze of savoir faire to this most resolutely British of locations.