43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
WLC Rank : 16
Glass from : £ 9 (125 ml)
BEST FORRefined service
Historic dining room
Set lunch inclusive of wine
“With our wine list, everything is possible!” says head sommelier, Rémi Cousin of the venerable offer at the Mayfair restaurant - at the top of its game for over 50 years.
Le Gavroche relaunched with a less uptight dress code – jackets and ties are now optional for gentlemen – an electronic wine list, and the signature Gavroche Revival cocktail blending medlar gin with bitter lemon, fresh yellow peach and cucumber.
Until March 2020, Michel and Albert Roux’s culinary French flag-bearer hadn’t missed a day’s trading, even during the relocation from Lower Sloane Street to Upper Brook Street. It became the first restaurant in the UK to receive a Michelin star in 1974, rising to three in 1982; today, it holds two under the tenure of Albert’s son, Michel Roux Jr, who added a bijou chef’s table during a subtle redecoration.
Le Gavroche has had a huge influence on the quality of food in London, giving rise to chefs, Monica Galetti, Rowley Leigh, Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing, Gordon Ramsay and Roux’s daughter, Emily who opened Caractère, Notting Hill with partner, Diego Ferrari who was Head Chef at Gavroche for three years.
Now in his third year at Le Gavroche, head sommelier, Rémi Cousin, began his career at Paris’ Le Meurice, moving to Hotel du Vin, York then Bristol, before joining The Fat Duck in 2008, where he worked for eight years.
Running to over 2,500 bins accommodated wherever space allows, including the alcoves beneath the Mayfair pavement, the list predominantly holds a torch over ready-to-drink icons of L’Hexagone with well-picked incursions into Italy and Australia. Flights include Mas de Daumas Gassac, Grange des Pères, Hermitage Chave, Romanée-Conti and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne. Recently, Cousin increased the offer from “the very much under-rated regions” of Alsace for its grand crus, and the bounteous Loire.
Take note, Cousin recently created a special selection of 100 wines subject to a minimum 50% discount “You can find wines which are intriguing or grand such as the Château Latour 1999 which was £1000.00 and is now £475.”At £76, the set lunch, inclusive of half a bottle of wine (beer is also available), mineral water, coffee and petits fours continues to offer benchmark value for a restaurant of this calibre, longevity and international repute, with vinous options including a Côtes du Roussillon Villages collaboration.
Cousin takes time to calibrate wine and food matches such as the hazelnut-crusted venison loin with juniper infused jus and parsnip cake, “which paired exquisitely with the juicy and fruity character of Ladoix red, Domaine Chevalier.” Another match is seared scallops with pumpkin, chestnuts and cumin-scented sauce with what Cousin calls, “a slightly controversial wine here at Le Gavroche.” Hence, Yangarra Estate Vineyard “Roux Beauté” Roussanne from McLaren Vale brings “harmoniously respects the soft flesh of the scallops.”
And to finish? “The other day a table of three asked me how to end on a high and I suggested Vieux Chateau Certan 2007 which, as far as I am concerned, has it all!”
During the lockdown, Cousin performed wine tastings on Zoom for his team and indeed guests.
Outside of work, Cousin manages to conduct a varied life outside of work, including go-karting, paintball, and playing and watching football and rugby.”
By Douglas Blyde.