You’ve probably never heard of Emma Crouch.
She was a prostitute living on the streets of Covent Garden in the late 1800’s. Life was not good for her.
So, she did the natural thing and moved to Paris, changed her name to Cora Pearl, and became a courtesan to dukes, princes, and the elites of society, accumulating a vast fortune of chateaus, jewellery, and clothing while she did it.
And now, she’s had a restaurant named after her, too.
That restaurant – though in Covent Garden, not Paris – comes to you from the Kitty Fisher’s team, with the kitchen helmed by Alex Kalaitzidis. He’s plating up a menu that feels both familiar and fancy, elevating comfort food with top-notch ingredients.
The space itself is seriously intimate, seating just 55 amid its glossy herringbone-tiled walls, soft vintage lighting and velvet green banquettes upstairs, with a moodily-lit cocktail bar downstairs. The kitchen, however, is sizeable, allowing Kalaitzidis and his team to put together some show-stopping dishes (accompanied by a wine list picked by top sommelier, Zeren Wilson).
On the menu you’ll find numbers like leek heart and smoked eel terrine; veal fillet with bordelaise and celeriac; and the applaudable Quail Caesar! (quail, with a side of Caesar salad and budum-tshh). And to finish? There’s chocolate ganache dribbled over malt ice cream; trifle to share; and a superlative coffee and cardamom sponge, served with milk sorbet.
We’d buy it a chateau if we could.
NOTE: Cora Pearl is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, plus Sunday lunch. You can find out more and book on their website HERE.
Cora Pearl | 30 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
Where to now? One of Covent Garden’s best bars, of course.