Restaurant review: Bistro Bruno Loubet, Clerkenwell, EC1

The airy, well, lit dining room

The airy, well, lit dining room - Credit: Archant

Thinking back, I realise I had heard great things about Bistro Bruno Loubet, but they had slipped my mind prior to eating there.So I was a blank canvas as we settled down in a romantically lit corner table over a glass of champagne.

The French menu was full of wonderful choices

The French menu was full of wonderful choices - Credit: Archant

But before I had even finished my starter, I had swelled the number of devotees to what must be one of the best restaurants in north London.

It’s on the former site of a monastery occupied by the Knights of St John – now immortalised by the ambulance service – so the surroundings are lovely,

They include a medieval relic of St John’s Gate, with big glass windows to peer at it through.

It was busy and just the right side of bustling with authentically French waiters buzzing here and there and the occasional barked order from the open kitchen.

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And the menu is authentically bistro-like too – a small but tempting selection of starters for under £10 and Mains all for under £20.

My venison carpaccio was fantastic – rich dark meat seasoned elegantly with salt and ginger.

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The fois gras fondant fromthe specials board was also very good, unbelievably smooth and creamy.

We then had the fish – a well-cooked sea bream with a piquant yet silky prawn bearnaise, and the wood pigeon; gamey, toothsome flesh with a lovely bread sauce. The pigeon came with a sour cherry jam which, despite the name, I found a little sweet. That this is pretty much my only criticism speaks for itself.

The wine list is as large as you’d expect from a French restaurant, and having a Gallic cheese board is a real treat – strong flavoured fromage at room temperature makes a refreshing change from some of the cold, dull selections available in many places.

It’s a nice feeling to be able to recommend a restaurant pretty much unreservedly and I have no hesitation in doing so here.

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