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“Outstanding” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Otto's

Otto's
182 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8EW, England
020 7713 0107
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Ranked #161 of 17,940 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: On entering Otto's you are presented with a warm welcome in this beautifully decorated, even a tad quirky, hidden away gem of a restaurant that transports you to the Belle Époque of 1870’s Paris. Otto honours the spirit of Auguste Escoffier with Classics such as Escargots, Steak Tartar and the spectacular Canard de Rouen a la Presse. Downstairs reveals a Private Dining Room with a Grand Dining Table, a most enchanting place to celebrate, entertain and share frivolities with friends.This wonderful recipe was created at the beginning of the 19 century by a restaurateur from Rouen named Mechenet. This recipe for pressed duck owed much of its success the the Duke of Chartres, who commanded it highly in Paris. When the renowned cook Frederick took over the restaurant La Tour d'Argent, he began numbering all the pressed ducks that he served, intending to make the dish the speciality of his restaurant.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

We had one hour only and wanted somewhere to eat close to st pancreas station ( a 10 min walk away ). Having heard their beef tartare was amazing , it was soon on our list. And what a treat. Starters of crab gateaux were light with crisp green apple and soft warm bread ( good bread, good flour , good butter ). Faultless. The main of beef tartare is a delight to behold. Made at your table and to your liking, the love of the dish is poured into its preparation and served with true flair to match the quality of this fine fillet. A massive wine choice and excellent selection of half bottles means I will eat here again and again, I suspect without ever tiring of its choice. I will also pre order the speciality duck next time, it sounds magnifique !!!! Otto you have got it completely right, so thank you.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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209 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    148
    47
    11
    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Very good French food, nicely cooked and very tastey. Not a great deal of atmosphere but nice anyway.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Unusually good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Many restaurants claim to be good, and with justification. But just occasionally you come across a place that has an undefinable quality that puts it on another level.

The situation in Gray's Inn Road is unremarkable, Not really City and certainly not trendy West end. Just north of lawyerland. So to go there you have to mean it. Like Hull its a place you have go to for a reason.

But should you ? Most definitely. Here behind its understated white facade is a team of the highest order. The owner oversees and his staff deliver service with the almost invisible skill found in very few places. Your wine glass will be replenished without your conversation being interrupted-and then by a modest perfect amount. You want something not on the menu- you will be offered whatever choice they have.

It is of modest proportions without being twee or overly intimate, and the decorations are best described as eclectic, influences of Michaelangelo and Hollywood sit together without being overfussy. Its very white. A lot of thought has gone into the design, table spacing etc. Its a place where you can talk with discretion without feeling cut off from the place. Whoever designed this knew about what different diners want.

The glassware, napery etc are high quality. Bread is warm fresh with quality flour, the butter tasted as Normandy.

The food - ah the food- It is like the very best of French . Thats because it is. Even simple things -like pea soup (hardly the stuff to normally get excited about) are very well done. The peas were tiny sweet and had been split in places to release their flavour. The watercress had clearly been fresh that day . And would we like it hot or cold ?

One member of our party wondered if there might be some other fish available ? Certanly there was and how would he like it prepared ?

The duck, in a slim puff pastry cleverly managed to be properly cooked- and moist at the same time. The desserts a short list, with interesting items (What one wondered was a Macaronade Fraises-Pistache-the translation- Macaronade with Pistachio Cream and Fresh Strawberries - understated its presentation and flavours.)

Better still I wasn't paying- it was a treat - but whatever it cost my friend it was a bargain - we are going back.

Very highly recommended.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Real taste of France in London”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

In our experience a good French restaurant - in France I mean - combines both good food and a warm and welcoming ambience. Otto's fits the description that perfectly. When we spoke with Otto who welcomed us personally I likened his dining room to that in Le Grande Vefour in decore and warmth and quite frankly the kitchen is equally superb. We had langoustine ravioli - divine, soft flavours - and scallops - lively sharp spices - for starters. We both had John Dory fillets as mains - subtly imbued with the herbs in which it had been cooked with delicately cooked pieces of aubergine and courgette. With it we drank a lovely lemony - metallic Chablis. The deserts were simply stunning - a profiterole and a chocolate soufflé accompanied by chilled Monbazillac - yummmmm.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“French fulfilment”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

This is a great place to seek out and well worth the effort. Its rather unprepossessing exterior in Gray's Inn Road hides a real gem. On this occasion we had the set lunch, which was exceptional value. The cooking was a delight, the service friendly, and the wine list all an oenophile could ask for. I can't wait to return to try out the house speciality, canard a la presse (which needs to be ordered in advance). Long may it survive!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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