Housed in a former Lyon’s Coffee House on the edge of Smithfield meat market, Pascal Aussignac’s fabulous restaurant is a temple to Gascon gastronomy, the robust cooking of southwest France (cassoulet, duck, foie gras etc) which not many restaurants in London can offer. Aussignac’s thoughtful reinvention makes for a modern and mind-blowing menu that now boasts a Michelin star, and, offering no fewer than 10 variations of foie gras, it’s become a mecca for it. Having been instrumental in the industry’s sharing revolution, dishes come tapas-sized so that everyone gets to try a bit of everything (five or six dishes per person make up a full meal), though you can still keep it all for yourself with an à la carte menu. The elegant room and good French wine list make it a popular spot for business lunches, but in the evenings true gastronauts take over. If you don’t want the full blowout, there’s Cellar Gascon, a wine-tasting and tapas bar next door and a deli/café on the other side of the market (Comptoir Gascon, 61 Charterhouse Street, EC1; 020 7608 0851). The same team is behind Le Cercle in Chelsea (1 Wilbraham Place, SW1; 020 7901 9999), a more modern space, equally modern concept.