Having failed to secure a booking two or three times in Paris, I waited for the mountain to come to Mohammed and Jo and I visited the newly-opened Frenchie in Covent Garden on Friday night, instantly raising the average age of the customers by about ten years and causing average trendiness to plummet. At 21:45 we had secured what I call a “late” booking and what the clientele of Frenchie call “the start of a good night out”.
First up, some plaudits, given the achingly “now” clientele, location, design and pedigree I promptly expected service to disappear up its own bleached and waxed fundament, sneering at anyone who didn’t have Anna Wintour on speed-dial. Not a bit of it. Charmingly, relaxed, friendly and unaffected; on the ball and on the money. Service was fantastic.
Interesting wine list too, albeit a bit under-populated at the bottom end – though this was offset by the decent availability of by-the-glass and –carafe. It may say “Frenchie” over the door but the list is eclectically global.
It was the food divided us. I thought it was good. An especially tipping of my hat to a rabbit pappardelle, which was suitably rustic and packed with flavour. Flavoursome lamb, also. Jo, however, was not having it - especially after two bits of gristle, one in the bunny (it happens, it’s that kind of beast…) and one in her lamb (less forgivable). What really got her back up, though was the usual small plate thing (did I mention it’s small plates, surely you kind of assumed the inevitability of it anyway…?) of racking up a sizeable bill and still feeling the need to stop the taxi on the way home to pick up a kebab.
Thinking back on it, it’s probably a testament to how far London has come on food-wise. Make no mistake, the cooking at Frenchie was very good. But then again, so it the cooking at The Dairy, Clove Club, Dabbous, Lyles etc etc and any one of a dozen or more places of the same ilk. I though Jo was being harsh – the food was good - but then again I probably wouldn’t rush back myself and I keep worrying away at why? Jaded palette, maybe. You can definitely do a lot worse than Frenchie around Covent Garden, especially if you’re looking for a bit of glam.