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Le Cercle

Le Cercle
1 Wilbraham Place
London SW1
Tel:020 7038 3660

Discreet chic defines this establishment. If this floats your boat it is somewhere to be recommended as it hidden from view in the manner of a private dining club, and certainly doesn’t stand out from the row of attractive and elegant town houses in this uber stylish part of town. The restaurant has been cleverly decorated with uses of wood and fabric. A chocolate and cream theme runs throughout the rooms creating a very tasteful and elegant atmosphere for its diners with attractive screens adding an air of reserve and privacy.

Recently Le Cercle (sister restaurant of Club, Cellar and Comptoir Gascon) celebrated its fifth birthday and accordingly the French Head Chef, Pascal Aussignac, decided to mark the occasion by creating a whole host of new menus. This includes a five course tasting menu which will change on a monthly basis.

We began with wild rocket sorbet, deep green in colour and remarkably refreshing with just a hint of balsamic vinegar to cleanse the palate. This was followed with a very dainty and artistic spring salad served with crunchy vegetables These were all cooked perfectly al dente with the added unusual touch of a tulip confit making for a colourful bowl of interesting tastes and flavours. Next came a dish of stunningly presented line-caught sea bass tartare scented with vanilla oil and nasturtium leaves which was melt in the mouth tender. It was accompanied with a shot glass of a citrus and vanilla flavoured vodka with fresh pomegranate seeds adding a touch of zing. A tender rack of lamb with garden pea puree and verbena was small but just the right size due to the many courses we were sampling throughout the evening. Each course was accompanied by different wine which made for an interesting entrée into the cellar.

To conclude there were two puddings. A crispy macaroon with a soured cream interior, hibiscus, berries and raspberry jus and a fresh and bubbly cappuccino with a custard, creamy apricot interior served with crunchy biscuits.

Le Cercle hits the right note between elegant and affordable which must hit all the right notes with the locals who (although are no doubt loaded) like the rest of us, still want value for money.

Louise Elgin. May 2009

The Spring Menu is £35.00 per person or £50 with wine pairings.
Monthly Wine Tasting Dinners take place every third Tuesday and are hosted by the restaurants sommelier. Each will revolve around a specific region of France - £35.00 inclusive.
Prix fixe lunch: £15.00 for three courses, £19.50 for four.
Pre/post theatre menu: £17.50 for three courses, £21.50 for four.

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