Restaurant Review: Little Social

High-end cuisine with French flair is on offer at Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s West End venture

On Pollen Street, hidden away from the bustling world of Oxford Circus nearby, rests a small and dimly lit hub of absolute French delight called Little Social. Upmarket, yes – pretentious, absolutely not.

Slick wood and intimate booths transport guests into the backstreets of a classic parisien bistro. The menu graces classic French dishes with an innovative British interpretation through taste and presentation.

Evoking nostalgic feelings of holidays spent in Brittany, the restaurant inspired conversation with its vintage Michelin maps spread across the walls. The waiters took away any feeling of intimidation with a friendly but extensive knowledge of the menu, which creates a talking point in itself. We knew we’d made the right choice of venue when we were presented with warm bread and smoked butter whilst taking our time to peruse the menu with a glass of champagne.

After a very friendly chat with the restaurant manager, we made our selections. The starter of burrata with white truffle came highly recommended and did not disappoint; we were slightly concerned by the £40 price tag for a starter, but the truffle portion did it justice through presentation, smell and taste. Steak connoisseurs we are not, but the 28-day-aged sirloin was an absolute delight, served with a traditional helping of fries and a side salad. The sophisticated sea bass “BLT” included the “T” being added to the dish in front of us, when one of the waiters drizzled bois boudrin sauce around the plate. We’d never had a BLT quite like it.

The choice is extensive for a menu that remains considerably focused; other highlights include a critically acclaimed burger and a porcini risotto. Not wanting to finish our night without dessert, we sampled the homemade truffles and selection of ice creams, which included salted almond and clotted cream.

The on-site sommelier is on hand to recommend wines by the glass, matching them to each individual meal and giving a brief insight into each wine variety, so you won’t be lost for conversation topics if you and/or your date is a wine buff.

Offering serious cuisine with prices to match, Little Social is perhaps a tad overkill for a first date, but if you’re looking to impress, it’s a must for a third or fourth.

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