Bouchone Racine | A Beloved French Eatery, Reincarnated
Bouchon Racine in Knightsbridge was one of those restaurants that everyone seemed to love …except the landlord.
After falling victim to the rent-shaped chopping block a couple of years ago, it’s now been resurrected over in Farringdon, with chef Henry Harris at the helm once more. And he has delivered something truly wonderful – a thoroughly British pub with a thoroughly French menu and a thoroughly beautiful end result.
The place is actually set inside an ancient boozer called The Three Compasses which itself has been around for about 250 years, give or take. Inside Harris has divided the area up into two: first of all, there’s the pub space downstairs, which is still a pub. Only with slightly better food. And some very nice wines.
Then, upstairs, you’ll find Bouchon Racine. This is the considerably more romantic, intimate restaurant space, with its own separate entrance from the street. The prime seats are undoubtedly along the glass-roofed balcony area at the back. Here, still hugged by the warmth of the rest of the restaurant – orangey pink walls, antique brass light fixtures, and candles (even by day) – but with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side, you can sit and nosy over the streets below whilst enjoying a glass of wine from their all-French wine list or devouring your food.
Speaking of food, the menu is, as we may have mentioned, very French and very good. Harris has given it all a slight Lyonnaise lilt. And just in case you haven’t been brushing up on your regional French cuisines lately, that means things like warm salads with bacon & poached egg; crispy sea bass with fennel and rich sauce bisque; hearty bavette steak with a rustically comforting Saint Marrellin sauce; and some rather adventurous nose-to-tail cuts, too. The menu is scrawled on a blackboard every day, and every day there’s something new there. But whatever you go for, it’ll probably be delicious.
Dessert is a must too, so come hungry. And yes, you can get a sweetly creamy tarte Vaudoise, or a chestnut Mont Blanc so big that might give the mountain a run for its money… but the star here is the creme caramel. It’s one of Henry Harris’s signatures, and he’s cooked so many he could probably slip, trip, and accidentally make one better than any you’ve had before in your life. And the one on the menu here could go toe-to-toe with any you find across the Channel.
This place is good, from top to bottom…
…en bref, it’s cinq etoiles from us.
NOTE: Bouchon Racine is open now. You can find out more at the website right here.
Bouchon Racine | 66 Cowcross St, EC1M 6BP
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