Les 110 de Taillevent: next level food & wine matching at this elegant Marylebone Brasserie
In London’s ever-evolving restaurant scene, the classic Brasserie is often overshadowed by wave after wave of new openings flogging that next, trend-setting hit. So it’s a breath of fresh air when a Brasserie comes along firing on all cylinders– offering top-notch produce, prepared with skill and finesse at a fair price point.
The more casual sister restaurant to Paris’ two Michelin-star Le Taillevent, Les 110 de Taillevent is a modern French brasserie located in Marylebone’s Cavendish Square. Housed in a resplendent Grade-II listed building of what was formerly her majesty’s Coutt’s Bank, the vibe inside is far more relaxed than it’s imposing exterior would suggest thanks to a chic, sleek interior absent of any white tablecloths and an affable front of house team.
Before I get onto the food though, I must start by mentioning the wines here. After all, the restaurant is named after its arsenal of 110 wines, all available by the 125ml glass (or a smaller 70ml tasting pour if you prefer).
This is by far the most comprehensive BTG-list I’ve come across in London. There’s everything from budget options to heavyweight icons on offer here. Each individual dish on the menu has 4 suggested wine pairings across the various price points (<£8, <£14, <£20, >£20). So say you go for their lobster dish – your recommended wine choices range from a £6 glass of entry level Costieres de Nimes to a £43 glass of Dom Perignon 2006 from the top bucket. Sure, the resulting wine pairing menu can start to look a bit spreadsheet-ey after an apertif or two. But I for one think the concept is a whole load of fun. If you’d rather skip all detail, that’s fine as well – just tell their sommelier what you fancy and roughly how much you’d like to spend and he will sort you out.
With truffle season in full swing, I was invited along to a recent dinner hosted by the restaurant showcasing their new seasonal menu. Many of the dishes on offer were a celebration of a beautiful haul of Perigords they had just gotten in.
Canapes: Several there were, but for me it was all about the Truffle Sandwich. Perigord truffle shavings. Truffle-infused butter. With a side of toast. If you fancy truffle, this was just next level snackage. Pure, unadulterated pleasure.
First course: Truffled Scramble Eggs – creamy, earthy & incredibly moreish. The eggs were cooked over a low heat French-style, producing a lush, almost spreadable consistency. A lively white Burgundy from Rully by Domaine Dureuil Janthial paired beautifully with the dish, packing rich minerality and Grand Cru-esque quality without the Grand Cru price tag.
Fish course: Roast Lobster, Girolle Cannelloni, Cauliflower purée & Bisque. Top notch produce cooked ever so beautifully & skilfully. The depth of flavour in the bisque was just immense… perhaps the seasoning was a tad over, but boy was there bombs of flavour concentrated within its light, foamy texture. A real treat, especially paired with Domaine Julien’s fresh, vibrant Cote de Nuit-Villages Pinot Noir.
Main Course: Truffle Veal Rump, Artichoke Puree & Stuffed Baby Artichoke. This was my favourite course of the evening. The veal was cooked immaculately – pink, succulent and full of flavour. Just as delightful was the baby artichoke croquette – stuffed with a creamy, béchamel-like filling then deep-fried until crispy. Earthy, moreish Perigord truffle shavings & truffle sauce rounded things off beautifully. Thierry Germain’s ‘La Marginale” Cabernet Franc from Saumur-Champigny provided the perfect backdrop for the veal, showing richness and structure in spite of it’s lightness.
Dessert: Truffle Chocolate, Mascarpone & Caramel. Talk about intricate construction! There’s some seriously exquisite work coming out of 110’s pastry section. I’m never sure about black truffle in desserts but the flavours here were surprisingly harmonious – a subtle hint of the truffle coming through the layers of chocolate, caramel & air-light mascarpone cream with each bite.
With starters and desserts priced around the £10 mark and most mains between £20-£30, expect a 3 course A la Carte meal with a couple glasses of their more modestly priced wines to come up to round £70 per person in total. Decent value when you consider the calibre of the produce on offer and the exceptional cooking by Head Chef Raphael Grima & team. For me, the food coming out of the kitchens here is easily 1 Michelin star territory with the vast selection of wine-pairing options adding a whole new dimension to the experience.
A return visit to sample the rest of the menu and the other 100+ wines in their arsenal is already on the cards!
16 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London W1G 9DD | www.les-110-taillevent-london.com
* theboywhoatetheworld was a guest of the restaurant. As always, all views expressed are my own.