After a delicious meal at the Bloomsbury on Thursday, Saturday night brought with it further indulgences…
My boyfriend Luke and I began our evening celebrating another close friend’s 21st birthday at the Goat pub in Clapham Junction, and then went on to French restaurant, Chez Gerard, as a treat for our 4th anniversary.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, the staff were incredibly accommodating; making various food and drink recommendations to us. Taking the waitress’ advice, I went for two of my favourite French dishes; soupe à l’oignon to start followed by boeuf bourguignon, while Luke chose the camembert (he can never resist a baked cheese) and the magret de canard.
I tasked Luke with selecting a red wine to accompany our food and he opted for a bottle of Côtes du Rhône from the Château Saint-Roman estate in South West France. Described on the menu as ‘a rich, generous wine with a distinctive peppery finish’, at £26 a bottle, this was by no means the cheapest on the menu, but as it was our anniversary we pushed the boat out a bit (plus Luke was paying!) We both found this wine elegant and well rounded with subtle nutty hazelnut flavours and, as described, a peppery finish. It complemented both of our meals very well…
Luke informed me that his camembert served with crusty French bread was creamy and delicious, and his pan-fried breast of duck served with celeriac mash was cooked to perfection. My French onion soup, served with gruyère croutons was perfectly seasoned and delicious, the onions soft and full of flavour. The braised beef came served in an elegant little saucepan which was aesthetically pleasing but also a bit of a hazard considering it was searing hot (and I have an unfortunate clumsy tendency to burn my hands!) Health and safety aside, the beef itself was succulent and exquisite, slow cooked in Syrah red wine with onions, button mushrooms, smoked lardons and Chantenay carrots and served with buttery pommes purée (‘mashed potato’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?)
While Luke had room for dessert- a rich white chocolate mousse served with raspberry coulis (mousse au chocolat blanc)- I couldn’t eat another morsel, preferring instead to nurse my delicious glass of wine.
This particular restaurant, while not as atmospheric as the Bloomsbury, delivered a menu demonstrative of how great French food and wine can be. With 10 restaurants in and around London, Chez Gerard is well worth a visit.
If anyone wants me, I’ll be in the gym.