RESTAURANT REVIEW: Venetia van Kuffeler wines and dines at Les 110 de Taillevent London
Venetia van Kuffeler wines and dines at Les 110 de Taillevent London
Les 110 de Taillevent London is part of the Gardinier family-owned group behind the iconic two-Michelin starred Le Taillevent in Paris. Since 2015, Cavendish Square has been home to Les 110 de Taillevent, a unique wine and food matching brasserie. 110 refers to the number of wines available by the glass, which are paired with a contemporary and seasonal French menu. The idea is that guests can experience the spirit of Le Taillevent in a relaxing setting on this side of the channel. But can the capital’s outpost live up to the reputation of its Parisian sibling?
A chic and warm setting, the restaurant’s interiors clearly pay homage to wine production, with wall-to-wall bottles above the bar. The menu showcases one column of food in the centre, surrounded by various columns of wines by the glass, arranged by price. With glasses catering to both the wine aficionados and everyday drinkers, the most affordable group is £8 or less, and the most expensive £20-plus. Making the French form of art-de-vivre accessible to Londoners, the list features rare and singular wines, caringly curated by Head Sommelier Christopher Lecoufle.
Executed by chef Raphael Grima, the à la carte menu is designed to showcase each product, which has been selected for its quality and seasonality. Our gastronomic journey began with a small taster of sea urchin royale, served in its spiny shell with a foamy celeriac emulsion. As pretty as a picture, the urchin was a smooth and fresh taste of the sea, and guzzled alongside a luscious sparkling wine from the Gusbourne Estate in Kent. A euphoric start.
My colourful and scrumptious Scottish langoustine ravioli with a citrus butter and shavings of carrot was paired with a dry Chenin Montlouis sur Loire Rémus 2014 from La Taille aux Loups. My companion had a spelt lobster risotto with lobster bisque. We declared both starters and wine pairings a triumph.
The Dover sole meunière came with button mushrooms, a spinach purée and fish sauce. Served across two plates, this dish that appeared to be relatively delicate on paper was surprisingly rich and filling, but deliciously tasty. The sommelier served a Rully Le Meix Cadot 2012 from Domaine Dureuil Janthial, a bold burgundy that was the perfect compliment. From the hearty meat choices, my companion chose Scottish venison served with celeriac and pear, with a sauce grand veneur, which he described as competently cooked. Of the two puddings we chose, the Calamansi Lemon was the clear winner, a zingy treat served with passion fruit, meringue, shortbread, tequila and lime sorbet.
These are beautifully presented classic French dishes with deep flavours. Diners can opt for the six-course tasting menu or just pop in for one course. Staff were attentive and the service professional. This is grand, fine dining with wines to match in a relaxed setting.
Les 110 de Taillevent London 16 Cavendish Square W1G 9DD
T: +44 (0)20 3141 6016 www.les-110-taillevent-london.com/en/