Les 110 de Taillevent
Sometimes I surprise even myself. I am not talking here of my witty eloquence. Nor of my transcendent photo taking skills. Nor of the almost implausible manner in which I weave these two together. Instead, it was a visit of a teetotaller to a restaurant known for its rather diverse and far reaching wine cellar. Guess my companion will have to make up for my lack.
110 is a rather unique concept. It is named after the 110 wines you can order by the glass. Available in 70ml and 120ml portions, you are offered the option to pace yourself. Or not.
That’s not to say that the food is something to scoff at. Actually, in proper wine terminology, maybe I should say that the food is for light gargling only. Actually, let’s play a game. Try to count how many wine terms I use in this post. I’ll give you the answer at the bottom.
Sardines, garlic toasted bread, crushed tomatoes. Carefully done, the crunchy garlic infused base, delicate tomatoes and sardines were a winner in my book. I couldn’t help but let it sit and breathe. It only seemed to taste better as time went by.
Vitello tonnato, veal carpaccio, tuna and capers sauce, rocket. My companion’s dish was less well turned. Although pleasant enough, it did not have the bite and acidity of the supreme sardines.
House bread. The next dish was one that I am often able to find fault with. Yet the yeast here had definitely done well with crusty exterior and soft delicious springy inside.
Seared veal onglet, potato gnocchi, confit tomatoes. Gamey, gooey and delicious. The veal was seared to elicit a crisp crust encasing moist meat inside. The gnocchi was surprisingly bouncy and an excellent accompaniment.
Sea bream a la plancha, mashed potatoes, bouillabaisse juice. One of the most balanced dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating. The crisp and tasty skin, flaky flesh, potatoes and juice combined to create a supple dish.
Les 110’s chocolate tarts, raspberry coulis. Nice but lacking in the depth of flavour I had at Gauthier. That was where I had one of the best chocolate tarts of my life. This, although not bad, unfortunately didn’t come close.
Floating island, creme anglaise. With a marvellous colour of white and gold, the island was smooth, light and airy. It’s etherealness seemed almost too delicate to eat. Actually, who am I kidding, that wouldn’t be enough to put me off.
Madeleines. Small and light, these were an excellent way to end.
A special mention must go to the dining room with its cavernous ceilings, welcoming seats and light and bright atmosphere. A very comfortable, quiet yet not overly solemn venue. Although this teetotal review does not do a wine specialist restaurant justice, at least that allows the food to be judged in complete isolation. So based on the half that I was able to sample, this is a place worth trying. More so if you are into your wines. Good food, an impressive dining room and a novel idea of wines, its aroma stayed with us long after we left.
I’ve used 10 wine terms in this post.
A quiet eating 7/10.
Lunch (3 courses) was GBP25 excluding service and drinks.
16 Cavendish Square
W1G 9DD London