Galvin Café a Vin // Spitalfields // London

Around the corner from their starred restaurant La Chapelle, the Galvin Brothers offer-up a way to sample their cuisine in a hip, brasserie-style environment for a very good price at Galvin Café a Vin.

You can either sit on the terrace on a sunny day, on a bar stool under the glass ceiling or in the main room, which has a real Parisian feel.  Granite tables, mirror boards detailing les plats du jour and waiters sporting white shirts and black waistcoats; every detail seems have been borrowed.

And the menu continues to build on this theme by offering the absolute staples of classic French cuisine.  Rillettes, escargots and steak tartare are among the choices for starters, with bœuf Bourguignon and rabbit with mustard sauce on offer for mains. Perfectly cooked, these dishes taste exactly as if you were eating them in France.  The bonus with the Galvin brothers is that they go that extra mile with presentation too.  One thing that is not very Parisian is the service.  The waiters, on top of being professional, are all smiling and polite; no grumpy French attitude.

To finish, foodies into their desserts should definitely try the baba au rhum.  One requisite though is that you need to be older than 18 and not driving!  If you order the baba, you’ll end-up with a waiter delivering a whole bottle of rum to your table so you can drown you dessert in booze; excellent news.

Galvin’s Café a Vin is a typical (and local) French food experience, without the cost of a Eurostar ticket. It’s certainly worth a visit.

Square Meal
Galvin Cafe a Vin (next to Galvin La Chapelle) on Urbanspoon