On my birthday a few months ago, we decided to pop to my parents flat in St John’s Wood for a drink before heading out to find somewhere for dinner. We walked down the highstreet and discovered that where Carluccios used to be had been taken over, redesigned and a new Restaurant, Soutine, had moved in. Walking in, we knew we were chancing our luck with a table, and they confirmed our suspicions that they were fully booked.
A few weeks later and an email popped into my inbox inviting Ben, Pepi (oh yes, they’re dog friendly too!) and I for lunch at Soutine. We gratefully accepted and a few days later got to finally experience the brand new restaurant ourselves. Soutine comes from a family of established eateries including The Wolseley and The Delaunay. With such a well established lineage, we had high expectations for the food and service at Soutine. Spoiler – it didn’t disappoint!
We started with a cocktail each. Ben went for the 1789 – Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Lillet and Dry White Wine. I had Le Blonde (naturally). A Bombay Sapphire Gin with Lillet, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur and topped with Grapefruit Juice.
We sipped on our drinks and people watched while we waited for our starters. The entire restaurant was full of families, ladies that lunch, business meetings and couples. Pepi nestled under the table and occasionally popped out for cuddles with the ladies on the table next to us and for scraps from our plates. In which area, her luck was out.
I had never been grateful for Ben’s fish allergy until my starter arrived. Isle of Skye Queen Scallops with a Lemon and HeDressing. The most delicious scallops I have ever. EVER. Eaten in my life. Served cold and plated in the most beautiful way, they really were something special. I would eat at Soutine especially for those Scallops. Ben went for an old favourite of Duck Liver Parfait with a Sauternes Jelly. Delicious too, but not anywhere near the league of my starter.
Feeling incredibly satisfied after the starter, it was time to order the wine to accompany the main. Recently I’ve discovered that I have never had a glass of Provence Rosé that I didn’t like, so whenever I see one on the menu, it’s an easy choice. It just happened that the Chateau Roubine Côtes de Provence Cru Classé was the wine special, so an easy choice for me. Plus, it went perfectly with my Confit de Canard with braised puy lentils. Ben chose the La Muse de Cabestany Pinot Noir to accompany his Filet de Boef ‘Au Poivre’ with confit shallots and green peppercorn sauce. We shared a side of buttery mash and wilted spinach.
The Confit de Canard was delicious, but super heavy and probably more suited to an evening choice (where you can have a lie-down right after!) as was the Beef. After that, we really shouldn’t have eaten anything else. But I had already seen the pudding menu, and WOW. Black Forest Gâteau is possibly my favourite cake ever and the one I was presented with was just gorgeous. Ben chose the Coupe Lucian – Pistachio, Hazelnut and Almond Nougatine Ice creams with whipped cream and a butterscotch sauce.
I am genuinely amazed we made it home afterwards. I can hand on heart say that I would highly recommend Soutine. It’s smart, but not stuffy. Elegant, but not pretentious. And, my word, the food. The food really speaks volumes for the place. I have a feeling the Scallops and the Black Forest Gâteau will very quickly become my go-to order throughout summer.