Galvin London

Galvin London

4 4 Reviews


European in London - Marylebone
66 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7DH
+44 (0) 20 7935 4007

Set up by the Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff, who are both chefs, this attractive restaurant serves delicious brasserie and bistro style cuisine with knowledgeable and friendly service.
Tags: bistro, business lunch, french, french bistro, french brasserie, fun, modern european, value for money, vegetarian dishes, wines




Galvin London Reviews


Le nosh top - When you walk up to the door of Galvin Bistrot De Luxe the word “poussez” instead of “push” greets you, and that lets you know what’s on the other side of the door. It’s a traditional French bistro, like someone has scooped it up in Saint-Germain des Pres and dropped it into Baker Street. That means you get simple dark wooden furniture, white table cloths, mirrors and a small well stocked bar. It’s not plush nor is it quiet - it’s a busy, slightly cramped affair with food flying out of the kitchen with a hustle and bustle that makes you feel confident because their focus is getting a meal on the table rather than being stylish.

The food is excellent. It’s not trying to be original or clever, there’s just good quality ingredients cooked very well. Fois gras, snails, fish soup are typical starters with lamb, kidneys, sea bass and the like taking up the main courses. There are some unusual things… I ordered the Veal Brain which was a brain in a dish covered in brown butter with very creamy mash potatoes, my nerve nearly failed me looking at it but it was delicious. The wine list was even better, great value, a good regional selection and some things that are hard to find in English restaurants and not too pricey either – the Morgon, Cahors, Bourgeiul were excellent (yes we got drunk) and the Monbazillac desert wine were all coming in around the £25 - £35 mark and well worth it.

With the noise it’s an ideal place to get drunk-up and have a laugh with really good food. It’s a bad spot for a romantic candlelit dinner for two, but a great one for a business lunch blow-out or a quality night out with some mates - and if (like the couple next to us) you want to have a drunken row, cry a bit and then make-up with a snog, no-one will bat an eyelid. It’s not so expensive you’ll wake-up with a hangover and an empty wallet either, and in the heart of tourist-trap central London that’s quite an achievement.  
Tags: brains, french, fun, value for money, wines

Rating  5

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Just don't eat the bread. - Ok let's get it over with, the bread here is terrible. A basket of dense, doughey baguette slices with a crust so thick and impenetrable that I thought at one point an unscheduled visit to the emergency dentist was going to be an inevitability.

Now I've got the necessary criticism out of the way, allow the gushing to start. French food served by the Galvins was never going to make a bad restaurant but the sheer excellence in evidence still took me by surprise.

The single page menu simply described several dishes, most of which I wanted to eat there and then. I decided on escargot to start and in true traditional style the little buggers turned up in their shell. I am not very competent with the cutlery provided to liberate the meat from the shell and this provided my dining companion a considerable source of amusement as I wrestled with these tasty molluscs. The snails were immaculately cooked and perfectly spiced with garlic and parsley.

For my main course I chose the pork cheeks. Slow cooked until meltingly tender and served with a ragout of puy lentils, seasonal vegetables and Lyonnaise sausage the dish was a triumph. The marmite like sauce bound all these textures and flavours in immaculate suspension that just got better and better with each mouthful.

I was going to forego dessert but the waiter demonstrated excellent persuasion skills and convinced me to go with the soft poached meringue with creme anglaise. I rarely go with the light desserts because they are generally sharper rather than sweet, and I have got a really bad sweet tooth. The dessert was just fantastic, with little pieces of praline and giant comfits on top. A little crunch, sugar and cream all wrapped into a lighter than air parcel, the perfect mid-week dessert.

The focus here is on the food and the service seemed to be trying very hard to be excellent but turned out quite disjointed. The waiter seemed to be spread thin around the whole restaurant but he did say that they were very short staffed because some staff had failed to get through the storms. When the waiter was with us, the service was excellent and he successfully convinced us to go a full three courses.

So yes, take my advice and forget the bread but please be sure to try the puddings.  
Tags: bistro, french bistro

Rating  4

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Fabulous French Bistrot - Sunday brunch at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe was tres magnifique! My husband and I enjoyed a lovely 3 course meal with another couple celebrating joint birthdays for the boys. This is a great restaurant in a very uninteresting part of Marylebone, about half way down Baker street surrounded by dull high street stores. But once you step inside the entrance you are transported to an airy bright french bistro. The windows onto the street have discreet curtains which hide diners from the ugly traffic and modern buildings along Baker Street. Inside there are high ceilings which make the room feel spacious despite its narrow frontage. Decor is classic dark wooden tones with crips white table cloths - tres chic.

And now for the food. We started with 2 x smoked salmon, a dozen escargot and a roast quail salad. The smoked salmon was simply presented but tasted of the highest quality. My quail salad was delicious, the tart blood orange cutting the fatty quail perfectly. And my hubby loved his escargots (not really my cup of tea!).

Main courses were excellent. Our friends went for the roast beef which was almost - that was the rarest Sunday roast I've ever seen. But by the look of their spotless plates they enjoyed the beef just as it was served, with potatoes and a red wine jus. My lamb was delicious - in two parts. Succulent shoulder of lamb cooked with raisins and pine nuts wrapped in pastry accompanied with a rare but delicious lamb cutlet. I polished off the veges but can't even remember what they were as the shoulder of lamb absorbed my palate's attention. My husband silently scoffed his pork cheeks and puy lentils. Yummy!

Desserts - 2 blueberry souffles with vanilla ice cream were hoovered up in seconds. My husband's tarte tartine was deliciously caramelised and the chocolate pot was perfect for our chocoholic mate. Matching dessert wines helped finish the meal. Add to that a bottle of champagne and a bottle of red with the mains and I thought it was an outstanding meal for £65 pp including service. Having eaten at Hakkasan a few nights earlier and paid more money for less food, made Galvin all the more enjoyable.

The restaurant was only about 50% full - which amazed me. I'll be back again and I definitely recommend Galvin for a great, long de Luxe Sunday Lunch.  
Tags: french bistro, french brasserie, sunday lunch

Rating  5

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Fancy an good business lunch? - I am very fortunate to have Galvin as my local business lunch location. If you are lucky one of the Galvin brothers will come to check how you are getting on and discuss the menu to give you 1st hand tips. Really great food, but very subtle.  
Tags: business lunch, french

Rating  4

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