Friends that have seen my screensaver were not surprised that Le Gavroche was my first restaurant choice post lockdown. My first visit in February to the two Michelin starred restaurant was so delightful that as soon as I saw Michel Roux’s post on twitter, I booked a table within minutes .
18.00 pm on a Thursday (opening week) why not? No one can remember the days of the week anymore, the last few months have felt like Groundhog Day. Although I was a little anxious about jumping on the tube and socially distancing in a restaurant, my post lockdown visit was actually better than the first. Here are my favourite moments at Le Gavroche Post Lockdown.
1) The team at Le Gavroche
We were greeted by a friendly member of staff on entering the restaurant . They placed our coats and bags in the cloak room and promptly took us to our table. The team were all wearing masks and the tables well spaced out. The team were friendly and funny throughout the whole evening. The waiters, sommelier and everyone that served us really make Le Gavroche a place you want to come back to many times. The best way to describe it is a place with a homely feel.
2) Socially distancing neighbours become good friends.
The staff ushered us to an area of three tables, the middle remained empty and there was another couple aleardy seated at the end. Due to socially distancing there were fewer occupied tables. This allowed us to get a good view of the restaurant, but best of all we could hear our neighbours conversation. First timers to the restaurant celebrating their wedding anniversary. Listening to them enjoy the food as much as we did, while promising to come back soon. Later we managed to strike up a conversation, discussing our favourite dishes, I do not think this would have happened pre lockdown.
3) Order the souffle, it’s tradition
I used my spoon to swipe every corner of the bowl and tried my best not to look at Elisha in case she asks for some. Unknowingly Elisha had the same thoughts while eating her Loch Duart Salmon and chive butter sauce. She told me how amazing the dish was ( best salmon she ever had ) after she finished eating by which point it was obviously too late for me to try some. Unbelievable right.
My scallops came out as soon as I finished the souffle. When Michel Roux came out I told him it was one of my faves.
4) Never forget to Pour the Jus
Elisha ordered a roast duck supreme, port jus and Spinach purée from the menu du jour , while I ordered a Roast Herdwick lamb , sweetbread, mint condiment and lamb jus from the menu exceptional. They kindly placed these dishes on the table and told us to pour our own Jus and left. We both took a bite out of our dishes and nearly bit our tongue. The lamb was soft and simply falls apart while chewing and the duck was just perfect. It was soo good we didn’t think it needed anything else , we quickly dispatched our plates ….then saw the jus when they came to pick up the jugs. We tried to come to terms with what we just did, but many days later it’s still a painful topic round the house. Never forget to pour the jus.
5) Lemon tart vs strawberry and white chocolate Eclair
One of the great things about being in a couple is being able to share experiences together but this can sometimes be a little challenging when ordering desert. A compromise is to order different dishes to share , so no one will feel the dreaded food envy. However this only works if each person actually shares their dish. After tasing the first bite of our individual dishes, I ordered the eclair, elisha the lemon tart, we begrudgingly gave the other a small teaspoon to taste. Sharing ceased and the rest of the desert was eaten in silence. For me this was brilliant, no food envy, no nagging on the way home for not sharing, I was very very content. My eclair was without doubt this years best dessert.
6) Lemon tart was soo good she had it twice.
I think the waiter gave her the idea if I am honest, after realising I had failed to share my dish. He suggested the eclair to Elisha, who replied dont judge me but I will have another lemon tart with my coffee please. The waiter and I looked at each other and laughed, but Eisha explained she was serious. When it arrived no sharing occured not even a little teaspoon.
Hope you enjoyed my favourite moments at Le Gavroche. Compliments to Michel Roux and his team. The dinner was soo bang on , I’m thinking we might go again for Christmas.