Restaurant Review: Brasserie Gustave

Named after the creator of the Eiffel Tower, this Chelsea bistro will transport you to the City of Light

Now here’s a restaurant to write home about. Brasserie Gustave is a French utopia, located just off Fulham Road in the heart of Chelsea, where diners are transported into a bistro-like haven of Parisian chicness. Its name pays tribute to the famed architect of the Eiffel Tower, a heartfelt patriotic salute to the restaurant’s roots.

The decor is reminiscent of a traditional French Brasserie – red leather chairs, mahogany flooring with matching furniture, and yellow walls adorned with romantic prints of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Manager and owner Richard Weiss brings a unique charm to this destination that not many others can compete with. He is knowledgeable and passionate while noticeably not pretentious at all, which may seem surprising given the huge breadth of experience that he has. Indeed, Richard (as we came to know him) became a familiar face throughout our evening and one that we were always pleased to see.

We settled into a corner booth, arguably the best seat in the house, overlooking the restaurant’s main room. Armed with a glass of Champagne, we took great pleasure in perusing the menu of classic French dishes. Familiar entrées include escargots, moules and French onion soup. We selected the salade d’endive and terrine de foie gras; the latter dish alone is worth skipping lunch for. With his impressive knowledge of wine, Richard puts most restaurant sommeliers to shame; after an extensive introduction to the wines he’d selected, we were presented with a Pinot blanc to go with the salad, and a muscat that was a sweet and perfect match for the foie gras.

Moving on to our main dishes, we had high expectations following the starters. Between us we ordered the moules marinières and the show-stopping entrecôte de boeuf, which Richard himself flambéed at our table to our sheer delight and entertainment. Again, we were given wine that perfectly matched both dishes – Cheverny for the mussels and Pinot noir for the beef. Other main dishes include confit duck leg, Dover sole and steak tartare.

Prices are reasonable given the portion size and quality of the dishes. Almost on the brink of a food coma, we reassured ourselves that our lunchtimes spent at the gym were not in vain and under Richard’s persuasion opened the dessert menu. As if by magic we instantly selected the fondant au chocolate, glace à la noisette and crêpes Suzette à la Victor. While the crêpes were being whisked up and flambéed at the table we tucked into the chocolate fondant, which was absolutely indulgent and well worth the guilt of the calorie consumption.

We left Brasserie Gustave with the pleasure of knowing that we had experienced one of the best meals London has to offer. The quality was outstanding, and the ambience and experience, commendable. This is a destination that we haven’t stopped talking about since visiting, and we’ll make sure Richard gets to know us as regulars in his establishment. C’est magnifique!

www.brasserie-gustave.com

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