Good God I love Winter food! The rich flavours, the roasted meats, the oh-go-on-then’s. It’s where my palate really feels at home and I definitely love food the most at this time of year. I was invited one dreary evening this week to have dinner at Boulestin, a small French restaurant on St James’ street in London. French food I always associate with Winter and all the afforementioned things I love. So one manic drive home from work, a train, a tube and a dash through the rain later, I was nestled in the warm glow of this cute little dining space to be fed some Winter grub!
I say small, because from the outside it appears tiny. Inside it stretches way back, with a very cosy private courtyard. Downstairs has a beautiful private dining space too.
Ideal little personalised party spot!
Sat down with champagne, hot miniature baguettes and lashings of butter & salt (happy girl) I perused the very French looking menu. The restaurant in maintaining its authenticity keeps translations to a minimum, which kinda gives you that feeling of being on holiday: a bit lost but excited.
Starters range from the grand to the classic.
My starter of pan fried scallops with artichoke purée admittedly didn’t look the prettiest on arrival, but what it lacked in presentation it made up for in flavour. The scallops were perfectly cooked with a delicious, sticky exterior. The purée was equally delicious and I gobbled this up in no time, stopping only for sips of wine.
Next to me came a medley of lobster, red mullet and mussels in a saffron broth. Very simple. Very French.
I couldn’t resist the duck, served three ways with roasted duck breast, duck en croute and a pan fried liver. This dish was an absolute dream! Everything was bursting with flavour and the meat was succulent and rich and juicy. The bed of cabbage tasted like Christmas; cooked with festive spices and infused with the cherry jus. The saltiness of the duck en croute was a lovely contrast as well. Highly recommend this dish!
Our meals were served with a hearty array of greens, beautifully creamy mash, French fries and pommes anna. Needless to say after all those sides on top of our mains we were pretty stuffed! But y’know it’s Winter, so when we were handed the dessert menu we couldn’t stop ourselves from saying, “Oh go on then!”
I went for the honeycomb parfait, again it was a great dish. Lovely and cold and creamy with bombs of crunch! A great rounder off to the meal. I wasn’t brave enough to face this decadent bad boy…
Boulestin ticked all the festive boxes for me: cosy, hearty, big flavours and a big smile on my face at the end. The menu has a good mix of meat & fish, safe & brave, so if you go in a group everyone will be happy. The only thing I could fault was the presentation not being quite pretty enough. But flavour is king, and they’ve definitely got the crown for that.