Michelin Star French Restaurant
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : French
Address : 34 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London , W1T 2NH, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.pied-a-terre.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: 12pm-2.30pm and 6pm-11pm; Sat: 6pm-11pm
Closest Tube : Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road
Pied à Terre is pre-millennial. It arrived in London in the heady days of 1991, and quickly became one of the most successful restaurants in the city, putting finesse into fine dining. It earned its first Michelin star soon after, launched a sibling restaurant (L'Autre Pied in Marylebone), which also won a Michelin star, and has become one of the grand dames of London gastronomy. With such a starry past, you'd expect that Pied à Terre might rest on its laurels. Not so, as a recent refurb has shown. Owner David Moore is ready to put the elbow grease in to keep pace with one of the most competitive restaurant scenes on the planet.
The room itself evinces a starched formality. It's a white table cloth affair with a pistachio-coloured banquette running the length of the long, narrow room, funky mid-century modern copper panelling along the walls, swooping burnished leather armchairs, striking baby blue carpets, and a fair few nooks and crannies ideally suited for a date or catching up with your friends. The atmosphere was eminently grown-up with a very attentive service. There's something very quiet and reverent about the ambience - a pregnant anticipation of the food.
Moore has chosen Andy McFadden, previously at L'Autre Pied, to head up the kitchens at Pied à Terre, and he follows a long line of adept chefs that includes the illustrious Tom Aikens. His attention to detail is exemplary, the cooking well deserving of its many accolades. We began with hand dived scallops, served whole, citrus-cured, with a sprinkling of dill and lemon zest, a few sorrel leaves and razor-thin wisps of radish, which offered a natural pepperiness to the bivalves. It was an incredibly elegant balance of flavour.
Wild seatrout with a sauce vierge, fennel and Manjimup truffle was similarly tasteful. Pale and dusted with edible flowers and oil, it felt light and rich at the same time. As we segued into mains, McFadden seemed to flex his muscles, offering a bolder take on the subtle seasoning. Lavinton lamb was served with a deconstructed 'ratatouille', with an array of gels, ricotta and anchovy. Our favourite dish of the evening was Richard Vaughan's suckling pig served three ways. Plated with turnip, tarragon and chorizo, each bite turned out to be a flavour bomb.
At the end of the meal we enjoyed the cheese plate, which was very good indeed, however we've heard great things about the selection of desserts and would definitely be interested in returning, which brings us to the next point: with a restaurant as tried and true and battle-tested as Pied à Terre, it's a great choice if you're after a solid option for a date or a meeting.