Bistrot Bruno Loubet
The fact that this one of French restaurants in London is constantly stuffed to the gills with extremely grateful guys who have been waiting their whole (soon-to-be short) lives for Loubet’s perfect, French heart-attack food should not put you off. After a decade in Australia, most chefs return with a lightened style. Not Loubet, who returned with a menu of traditional bistro food cleverly reinvented with layers of meaning, but never pointlessly monkeyed with. Let’s call it ‘posh rough’, as Loubet outstandingly combines rustic comfort with elegance – onion soup comes with emmenthal souffle? atop, while ingredients like quinoa feature alongside more recognisably French dishes like snails and crepes suzettes. Thus it opened (in spring 2010) to massive applause and it’s why most nights you can find a restaurant critic eating in here for fun. And don’t expect the turgid interiors of most ho- tel restaurants; go-to guy Russell Sage has done an expert make-under of the space, with salvaged wood furniture and crisp white walls. The wine list is robust and interesting for all pockets, with a strong focus on south-western France. Service can be bossy, but overall, this is one hot ticket for all but the miserable weight watcher.