When Eric Chavot opened his opulent “brasserie” in Mayfair, it was never going to be your usual bar/restaurant serving simple, traditional French food. This protégé of Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc had his mind set on creating a revolution in brasserie cuisine while still delivering on the classics. Chavot wanted to recreate classics with a TWIST, a challenge that many chefs have failed to deliver. Chavot however, has achieved his goal in style.
To start, his escargots en persillade are not at all what you would expect. The snails aren’t served in their shells, drenched in the standard parsley butter. Instead, an impressive potato foam conceals a collection of snails. As well a coating of the traditional butter, the melting flesh is dressed a light beef stock and wine reduction, which gives it an almost “fume”, boeuf bourguignon flavour. Simple? Not at all. Genius? Certainly. This is how all snails should be served from this day on!
The other classical dish to receive a stylish make-over is the canard à l’orange. A simple presentation perhaps, but a photo can’t do justice to these wonderful velvety carrots and orange cream (much more graceful than any purée). You’ll find hints of smokiness, which work marvellously with the braised endive. The duck breast itself is perfectly cooking, with a butter texture.
Finally, the ultimate French brasserie classic (and not the Neapolitan version); the baba au rhum. The baba cake is certainly moist, but is slightly under soaked in rum. Nothing dramatic, but being on a table of French people, everyone is wondering where the bottle of “St James” is. Despite this, the cake itself has all the rich components of butter, eggs and sugar to create this wonderful brioche style dessert. The Chantilly cream and ribbons of pineapple hark back to tradition but are served in a modern way.
So overall, if you’re looking to impress with an elegant dining room without a formal fine dining feel, Chavot is great choice. It is also perfect for dinner with friends, or even business. Brasserie Chavot deserves its recognition that it’s received and will definitely be on our “must revisit” list.