Frenchie | Covent Garden Restaurant
They gave us the metric system, Napoleon, and sarcasm.
And, boy, we just haven’t stopped thanking them ever since.
But they also gave us an unbelievable amount of good food. And that great tradition continues with Frenchie; a sleek Covent Garden eatery from the chef behind the vaunted, and insanely popular Paris restaurant of the same name (a name which, by the way, he was nicknamed by Jamie Oliver when he worked with him at Fifteen).
Credit: V Garnier
Crossing the grand Covent Garden marketplace and wending your way down Henrietta Street, you’ll find an elegant, classically understated facade, with the murmur of contented diners emanating from behind its weighty doors. The interiors are, frankly, gorgeous; a blank canvas washed with elegant parquet flooring, dove grey dining booths, glimmering metal tables and a striking bar running almost the length of the room, set beneath a constellation of vintage globe lighting*.
The dishes here also take inspiration from the Parisian menu, only this time the ingredients are all sourced from the UK (except the cheese… which in the Parisian restaurant is all British). You can either plump for the five-course tasting menu, or pick your own from the à la carte – a selection of refreshingly properly-portioned plates that you don’t have to share if you don’t want to.
And you probably won’t want to share the starters, like tomato and watermelon salad, drizzled with pine nuts, chilli and crumbly black olives with dainty blobs of taramasalata. Or the mains, like Cornish brill with (heavenly) pan-seared gnocchi on a slick of mushroom sauce; and duck breast with Mirabelle plums, apple, black pudding and sage. Or, for that matter, the pudding, which might involve black figs with smoked yoghurt and fig leaf meringue; or a revisit to the bacon scone with maple butter you had as an amuse-bouche.
Yes, bacon scones.
NOTE: Frenchie is understandably packed most nights, but luckily they save the bar seating for walk-ins AND they take bookings – which you can make on their website HERE.
*Interiors Easter egg: see if you can spot Voltaire on the way downstairs, who lived for a year on neighbouring Maiden Lane.
Frenchie | 16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH
Want more? Read about founder Gregory Marchand’s favourite spots in London
Main image: Nicolas Buisson