Slick southern French small plates
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : French
Address : 14 - 15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8QC, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.henriettahotel.com
Opening Times : Mon-Sat: 7am-10.30am, 12pm-3pm; 5.30pm-11pm; Sun: 8am-10.30am, 11.30am-4pm
Closest Tube : Covent Garden
Henrietta Bistro is the newest from Paris-based Experimental Group, which has opened hot-as-fire venues in London, NYC, Ibiza and their home city. As part of their recently launched chic boutique hotel The Henrietta, the eponymous bistro borrows its ethos and chef from their nearby sister site Compagnie de Vins Surnaturels, serving small plates with a distinctly southern French influence. Sylvain Roucayrol follows hot on the heels of Ollie Dabbous, who moved onwards to Hide earlier in 2018.
Nestled on the ground floor of the hotel, guests enter Henrietta Bistro by bypassing the bar, where bartenders mix up the group‘s signature cocktails with some particularly killer aperitifs on the menu. As you continue onwards, you‘ll pass smart darkwood tables in sharp rhomboid shapes hemmed in by cushy green velvet seating. A wine counter separates the back from the front, with an open plan kitchen and large open tables. On our initial visit we found ourselves starstruck by Werner Herzog who was sitting just next door.
Born in Perpignan, Sylvain's menu is inspired by southwest France and Corsica, with touches from the Basque and Catalunyan regions of northern Spain. We were as impressed with the veggies as the mains. Bull‘s heart tomato was topped with goat‘s cheese and a north African spice mix and was utterly enthralling. Purple artichokes from Venice were cut spiked with Banyuls, Cecina and Ossau-Iraty. A grilled tendril of Galician octopus found itself in yoghurt with a piquant fresh relish.
The meaty mains were no slouch either. Ibaiama pork balls were immersed in a lively tomato sauce and quail egg, whilst a sizeable veal sweetbread was served with nettles and vin jaune. Beef tartare was impeccably prepared, given a forest earthiness from raw mushroom and ocean salinity from Basque anchovy. We wrapped up the evening with an effervescent black mountain tart served with Black Mountain whisky infused ice cream. Henrietta Bistro is very much a part of the Experimental Group, with all off the hipness and competency that entails. Covent Garden is the luckier for it, and continues to improve as a worthy neighbourhood to dine in.