And I adore French food. I think after Italian, French is what I most crave when dining out, the decadence and richness of it. Pascal Benamari is a chef who's has been behind a few local favourites with his latest restaurant, Le Nantais Bistro, taking over a nice little space that used to be the very popular Harry's. The interior is a contemporary, sophisticated soft grey affair, something that would suit both a romantic dinner for two or with friends. They have made it stylish but not over the top.
Normally I'm straight in with the specials board but unusually nothing appealed. Not sure if lasagne or mozzarella have any place in a French restaurant and as for anything wrapped in Parma ham, I parked that in the early 00s. The a la carte though is bursting with French classics and modern tweaks.
Quenelle are something I fell in love with after a trip to Lyon and these light, airy langoustine quenelle were the best I've had to date. They can suffer with being too dense, almost like a dumpling, but these were anything but. The rich crustacea bisque sauce was exactly what I look for in French cooking; rich, luxurious and silky. I've been thinking about this sauce a lot since I ate it, having such amazing depth of flavour. Freshened with ribbons of courgette tagliatelle and a plump langoustine, it really was a perfect dish.
I was dining with my blogger friend Rosie and luckily she can really put her food away (and she's tiny - grrrr!). The duck carpaccio was an extremely generous portion. Normally you would expect a few slices, even this thinly cut, but the plate was quite something. The classic celeriac and apple remoulade was the perfect accompaniment, a fresh and crunchy contrast to the earthy duck.
41 Church Road