One Life, One Love, One Le Garrick


If you read our review of Le Garrick back in 2015, you'll know we fell for the Gallic charms of this wonderful authentic French bistro in Covent Garden.

We're doing something of a first for us here on Ambassadors of Food and writing about somewhere for the second time. It's not that we don't enjoy revisiting some of our favourite places - but it's rare that there's such a dramatic and positive change to bring it to your attention.

We're delighted to tell you that this summer the restaurant underwent a total revamp - as if some notoriously bad-tempered TV chef, who shall not be named, had his production team cast their magic dust on the place. Le Garrick looks and feels like everything we want it to be - and that is no mean feat. Edouard the Maitre d' gives a very warm welcome, you know you're in good company because he used to work at the celebrity hangout "The Goucho Club" - and we found that same warm friendly welcome and service permeates throughout the whole team.

When it comes to a setting for classic French food - there are really only four principal locations that spring to mind. The warm, welcoming and humble family table. The great outdoors, say enjoying a meal Alfresco, perhaps on the Croisette or a picnic or by the sea. Then there's the hustle and bustle of a classic old bistro. Last but not least there is the grand opulence of a turn of the century brasserie or an haute cuisine restaurant.

Given these basic types of setting- it's quite an achievement to get a balance that works - cosy yet airy and uplifting. Somehow this is what Le Garrick has accomplished.

Take the lighting for instance - too dark and the mood feels gloomy, too bright and it's garish - Le Garrick has just the right balance; flattering on the complexion and thus ideal for would be couples, and oh, did we mention the nooks and crannies down (the spiral) stairs? The menus, furniture and colour palette have been dramatically improved. The place feels unpretentiously new - yet still has a comfortable lived-in feel - enlivened by colourful, familiar and collectable posters of Covent Garden theatre-land.
It's the same with the food - the art of great French cuisine is about balance. "Balance" is perhaps one of the most over-used words in food. Think of all the food television programmes where a dish is presented and someone declares how it's so terribly "well balanced"! Well, balance isn't just about flavours and seasoning - or the lighting and furniture. When it comes to French food - assuming the basics are correctly executed - the secret is to balance richness with lightness. They are seemingly at odds - yet personified by great French cooking. And, that is what Le Garrick delivers, consistently excellent and truly authentic classic French food, including family recipes, and the correct combination of being rich and hearty, whilst also light and delicate.

yes please to hot cheese

As for the food, the classics are all still on the menu. Onion soup, snails, baked brie, moules marinières and Boeuf Bourguignon all cooked the right way - thankfully forgoing foolish attempts to mess with great recipes by introducing strange ingredients or methods - perhaps that's why the 'classics' at Le Garrick are so good. 
We thoroughly enjoyed all the dishes we tried, but stand out winners for us were the honey-glazed confit duck with minted French green beans, the calamari, the Boeuf Bourguignon and the cassoulet. Take a look at some other dishes we tried..

Moules “marinières” 

Tarte au citron

We're also big fans of the pricepoint - Le Garrick is in the heart of Covent Garden, but unlike many restaurants, the prices are reasonable.

Of course, a classic French restaurant experience must include wine and Le Garrick's wine list does not disappoint. We enjoyed a 2014 Syrah 'Domaine Gigondan Rhône'.

Combine excellent food with delicious wine, wonderful company and warm friendly service in happy surroundings; quite naturally, that's going to lead to conviviality and we're pleased to say this means unusually friendly clientele too. Don't be surprised if you make a new friend at an adjacent table or at the bar. Alternatively, if you're looking for an intimate romantic spot for a date, without being disturbed - Le Garrick's got you covered.

Le Garrick has a host of celebratory events planned for its 30th Anniversary and we're looking forward to returning. One annual favourite is Beaujolais Nouveau Day, celebrating the very first bottles of the wine on the market; this year's celebration at Le Garrick takes place on November 17th and is not to be missed!

One Life, One Love, One Le Garrick!

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