Le Restaurant de PAUL- Bringing a bit more of Paris to London:
When Paul first open its doors in London, it was to sell artisan French breads. The sort of bread that up until then you could only get in really good French restaurants, or when you visited France.
My teenage summers spent in the French Alps would come flooding back every time I went into one of their shops. Aged fourteen or fifteen I was fit enough to cycle down the hill to the nearest village to pick up cherry brioche for breakfast every day. Or more accurately, fit enough to make it back up the hill without having to walk! I’d been brought up on my mother’s attempt at home made bread, which would have been made with regular plain flour (I don’t think you could buy the strong flour that is necessary for good home-made bread in those days) or sliced loaves. The cherry brioche was a revelation – apparently a local speciality, it was at once soft and milky with a piquant fruit filling. Something like the Tarte au Citron though was not bought from the Boulangerie, but brought home carefully from the Patisserie when we visited Chambery, the nearest town.
So, I have a particular affection for this historic French boulangerie that produces the bread of my childhood. And, I was thrilled to hear that they were launching a restaurant in Covent Garden
Of course it helps that the styling of Paul has always seemed quintessentially French to me. And Le Restaurant de PAUL continues that tradition, looking for every inch like a brasserie on the Sixieme.
The menu is eminently accessible. Our group of food writers and bloggers ordered a mixture of Charcuterie platters and Camembert au Four to start. I’d be hard pressed to pick between the two if and when I return. We managed somehow to work our way through all the sharing platters before picking our own main courses.
It did all turn into a bit of a feast. Between us I think we probably had most of the dishes on the menu, though I was far too busy eating my Entrecote to pay too much attention to what other people were eating.
I do remember a rather luscious looking Poulet au Grain Roti a L’Estragon
and a Confit de Canard aux Olives.
All classic bistro fare, this place is somewhere to come and eat well with friends, unpretentious and welcoming. Where you can enjoy classic French dishes at a reasonable price (the mains are between £8.50 and £17.50) and just relax a bit.
In a way it’s what dining out used to be all about.
Desserts were similarly comforting. I really loved my Moelleux chocolat but must admit to a little pudding envy for the Brioche Perdue which came with creme anglaise (there is a choice). And someone did pick the classic lemon tart.
This is the kind of place I can see myself returning to- alone or with friends. I’d be very happy to accept any invitations to return.
Le Restaurant de PAUL
29 Bedford St,
London WC2E 9ED