Brasserie Les 110 de Taillevent Fitzrovia
16 Cavendish Square, W1G 9DD
www.les-110-taillevent-london.com/+44 20 314 16016
Discrete and elegant, since 1941 Taillevent has been one of the mainstays of the Parisian gastronomic establishment. The Gardinier family who have owned the restaurant since 2011 have opened a much more price forgiving brasserie offer in Paris and now in London that echoes the original and takes advantage of the restaurant’s massive wine cellar.
The brasseries have a very particular appeal for the dedicated oenophile with 110 wines offered by the glass, hence the name, each paired with a particular dish and with four wines available for each dish at different price points. This could be a nightmare to navigate but the menu is laid out with a clarity that makes the process very straightforward.
The interior is very handsome with light wood and green and black velvet fittings but the restaurant is positioned as a Brasserie de Luxe not a fine dining operation so there is no table linen or bread which is slightly odds with the feel of the room. However a floral and fruity glass of Champagne Brut Delamotte N.V. soon put her Ladyship and I in the mood for a thorough investigation of the menu. It’s full of traditional upmarket brasserie nosh, there is foie-gras, paté en croute and even retro favourite the vol au vent with sweetbreads and crayfish but there is also a Mediterranean twist with a risotto and squid à la plancha.
Crab rémoulade dill and fennel (£16) was topped by a very refined take on the spiky sauce, here transformed into a creamy aniseed emulsion sitting on a little mountain of crab and a surprise blob of caviar. Corsican white, Ajaccio “Granit” 2013 Domaine Vaccelli, was fruity, mineral and floral-a great match. Scallops carpaccio, celeriac, apple, and watercress (£14) was a perfect light spring dish with the delicate scallop flavour given a subtle boost by the different tonal and textural contrasts on the plate. A glass of Montlouis Sec “Remus” 2013 La Taille aux Loups was honeyed, complex and delicious.
Turbot meunière to share (£59) was nut brown, dredged in flour then fried in brown butter and served with a light beurre blanc. This was a great fish treated with respect. It’s unusual to find a red from Sancerre but the 2013 biodynamic Domaine Vacheron (£9) was a great expression of the Pinot Noir grape with raspberry and pepper notes.
Hot chocolate mousse (£9) was perfectly constructed-I prefer my chocolate more on the bitter side but this was still good.
I’m a fan of a traditional Mont-Blanc (£9) but this deconstructed version of chestnut cream, ice and cake satisfied my chestnut fixation.
Les 110 de Taillevent has the DNA of the mothership firmly ingrained into its offer. Its formula of traditional values with a twist, sophistication on the plate, perfect service from the team led by Giuseppe DeWilde and the depth and accessibility of the wine list is clearly popular with the local French community and beyond. Is there anything I would change? I would love to have a small plate tasting menu with wine pairings and more presence on social media as I’d like to know what’s going on there.