Charlotte’s Bistro is the kind of place you want in your own neighbourhood, you could easily expect to see Kate Winslet or Rachel Weisz drinking a glass of Pinot there in a Brit movie. The staff are young and really friendly, you instantly feel very welcome and at home in the very cosy intimate bar, which has its own buzzing atmosphere and sits separately from the restaurant on the upper level. The bar is open all day, every day for drinks and bar food accommodating about 25 guests at a time. It is also home to the very popular Gin School on Monday evenings, a really fun night where a different Gin producer showcases their brand every week, follow that on twitter @GinSchool.
We started our evening with a lovely warm and festive mulled wine as we listened to the master of mixology, Alex Kammerling talk about his spirit Kamm & Sons, you can see what we learned here http://www.kammandsons.com/.
Then we sat down to eat, the long dining room is simple and elegant, perfect for a relaxed and casual lunch or for a more special occasion, with candlelit tables and a great menu. A delightful amuse bouche arrived as we tried to decide what to have. I had the Soused Cornish Mackerel, Pickled Beetroot with Horseradish which was light and tasted so fresh, the perfect starter for me. My friend had the Ham Hock, Potato & Apple Salad, Radish, Baby Gem & Mustard, this was really tasty, they loved it.
For main course I went for more Cornish fish, I couldn’t resist the sound of it; Roast Cornish Hake, White Beans, Sea Purslane, Scottish Venison. The hake was perfectly cooked, crispy seared skin and moist, fleshy white fish in a light sauce with beans, and the venison added an unusual accompaniment that really worked. Healthy and very satisfying to my taste buds! With sides of Buttered Kale and Hand Cut Chips I didn’t mind making it a lot less healthy though. My friend also went for fish, Pan Fried Sea Bass, Surf Clams & Orange Chicory which they really enjoyed. Meat eaters would have found Middle White Pork Belly & Short Rib of Red Ruby Beef with Bone Marrow & Wild Mushrooms on the menu that night too. There is a selection of specials including Roast Beef on Sundays and there is a fantastic selection of small plates offered in the bar area.
Our desserts were spectacular and the perfect indulgent way to end a great meal, I had the Dark Chocolate & Honey Marquise and my friend had the Warm Cherry & Almond Bakewell with Salted Caramel. Is any sweet complete without a dash of salted caramel these days? I’m not complaining, I asked for it on the side of mine, of course they happily obliged and it was melt in the mouth gorgeous.
The cooking is of a very high standard and the best type of British fayre, their dishes are based on seasonal ingredients, so if you go there often, you won’t get bored with the same menu. Cocktails are regularly invented too I hear, so if you live near Chiswick and haven’t tried them yet I urge you to book immediately. Meanwhile I am looking for a spot closer to home for them to build a another restaurant I can make a regular hangout for me too. I will be hoping on the Piccadilly line to go back again in case that takes a while!
We loved our evening at Charlotte’s Bistro, I want one in my street, I did tweet them after and said I’d look for a space in Charlotte Street where I live. Surely that would be the perfect street for them to be in W1?
Charlotte’s Bistro won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2011 and 2012.
Tel 020 8742 3590