Finding a romantic spot for dinner in the West End these days is very much a lottery. You might bump into that boisterous 18th birthday party or a celebratory hen-party. These are problems you are unlikely to encounter at the magical French bistro, Le Garrick in Covent Garden.
This dining institution has been a star of the West End for over 30 years and is hugely popular with theatre-goers, theatre producers, shoppers and diners who are just regulars because they appreciate a family run business, where customers are treated as individuals.
I would opt for their cosy alcoves in the basement with exposed brickwork and flickering candlelight. If you were going to profess your love to someone, this would be the ideal venue; somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of London city life and has a timeless, classic charm.
The menu is as traditional as their decor, which is what keeps the regulars coming back monthly if not weekly. We shared a fondue de “Vacherin” pour deux, which was a wonderfully pungent and gooey raclette cooked with white wine and chive and we were offered plenty of bread to soak up the cheesy goodness.
The vegetarian options were lacking, as it was just the vegetarian dish of the day. Most vegetarians wouldn’t consider their wild mushroom risotto as vegetarian because of the Parmesan shavings. Saying that, the chickpeas with peppers that was served was very earthy. It came with a variety of pepper and cheese and had a light delicate dressing that had a hint of aniseed with possibly a touch of tarragon.
For meat-lovers, there is much to savour on their menu. The magret de Canard à l’orange is such a simple and elegant dish that other restaurants just fail to appreciate these days. The duck is tender, moist and infused with orange zestiness, which makes the dish incredibly appetising. It is a remarkably filling dish too as it is served with mashed potatoes and spinach.
The tarte au citron we tried for dessert had a very much homemade look and authentic taste to the dish. I would not be surprised at all, if they have followed the same, successful recipe for over 30 years. It comes with crème fraiche and some raspberry coulis to give the dessert a slight sweet and tangy kick. It is an extremely popular dessert because it is less heavy than say their chocolate fondant or selection of cheeses.
Le Garrick is a shining beacon for classic French cuisine in Central London and is unsurprisingly extremely hard to find a table for dining without prior reservations.