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Those seeking a taste of idiosyncratic old Soho should make a beeline for this multi-levelled townhouse on Greek Street. Dating from 1741, it became L’Escargot in 1927, with the titular gastropods earning pride of place on the menu: served steaming in a glossy garlic and parsley sauce, they keep company with the likes of celeriac and truffle soup, steak tartare or chicken liver parfait. To follow, half a grilled lobster is as swanky as the setting, while cassoulet just about passes muster (despite its “bland” sauce) – allow the clued-up, friendly staff to guide you towards more promising dishes, notably the daily specials. The menu has yielded to changing times with the odd plate of pak choi or dash of chilli but, like the homely open fire in the front dining room, it’s not concerned with the cutting edge. Myriad private rooms lend the restaurant a clubby lived-in buzz, while bar snacks and cocktails provide something more casual.
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