Braised veal cheeks, with ham and tongue, pomme mousselineMore pictures
Galvin La Chapelle is, as the name suggests a rather impressive restaurant. Not just for the fact that the main restaurant is held within a vast old hall with a near 100ft high ceiling but thankfully also for the food which is also rather fine and brimming over with what seems to be the typical Galvin-esqe French flair. I went a few months back for my mums birthday and since then it has had rather a good time winning both Tatler and AA awards for restaurant of the year regardless of if you think I’m talking bollocks or not some people like the place.
Looking through the menu you note that the quality of ingredient is high with many of the meats titled with their heritage (Landaise foie gras, Denham Estate Venison, Bresse pigeon) and with the addition of lovingly placed vegetables and a lovely rich sauce this is how most of the main dishes are served. On my visit I started with ballotine of Landaise foie gras, peaches & Pain d’épice (I pretty much can’t resist foie gras), a main of braised veal cheeks, with ham and tongue, pomme mousseline with a selection of cheese and port for pudding. While not a massive fan of the more pate style of foie gras the mixture with the sweet bread and pears ensured that I was not completely overwhelmed by it’s richness. I could have eaten the cheeks with a spoon they were so well cooked and the addition of the salty ham and the texture of the tongue worked were devine. I would use the term ‘delicious meat explosion’ if it didn’t sound so totally, totally wrong. After the richness of my starter the French puddings I think would have finished me off so being able to choose from the French cheese selection was a much welcomed treat – especially as I could chose 5 different types (whose names I have now all but forgotten).
Waiting staff are nice and attentive and happy to talk about the menu, indeed they seemed rather disappointed when we didn’t need any help and there are plenty of them so the service feels smooth. The wine list is rather vast and contains some of the most expensive bottles I have ever seen in a restaurant at about £21,000 for a bottle though thankfully there are some really good bottles for people with a smaller budget. I must provide a special mention to the service as after tweeting about going to the restaurant I received a lovely message thanking me for my custom and inviting me back for more which I thought was a nice touch.
The word ‘impressive’ sums up the place well and indeed with it’s city location you can count the numerous business meetings and office outings there in order to impress people, this does unfortunately make it rather a noisy place as you have to talk over the business folk. I was a little bit disappointed with the lack of the a tasting menu (3 courses never seems enough) and wonder if that is down to the amount of business lunches and diners received but I didn’t leave feeling empty and we ordered a good spread from the menu so got a good taste for everything. For those looking to really impress there is a special ‘exclusive area’ containing a table for 10 to 16 titled ‘The Gallery’ that overlooks all the ‘regular diners’ which can be used if you really want to push the boat out; a word of warning though; this area is right by the shitters and the website fails to mention this…Tweet