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“Superb dining in every way” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Door 74

Door 74
74 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JB, England
01865 203374
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Ranked #50 of 494 Restaurants in Oxford
Price range: $15 - $26
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Description: Just a few seconds stroll from The Plain on Oxford’s famous and central Cowley Road, Door 74 is the perfect European bistro with all the charm one would expect. With its modern boho styling, all chichi chandeliers and verdant palms, eclectic art and old fireplaces, Door 74 is extremely well suited to the Oxford crowd; the moneyed students and the yummy mummies, the bookish bohemians and the fashionable foodies. Thumbing its nose at the numerous nearby chains with their conveyor belt food and characterless interiors, Door 74 is an escape from the boring and the bland, offering an ever changing and original chalkboard menu featuring home-cooked dishes that conjure up flavours and aromas in the diner’s mind before they even reach the table. Expect plenty of Mediterranean inspiration as well as French brasserie sophistication and even a touch of Scandinavian freshness too. Of particular note are the kitchen’s absolutely unmissable desserts – divine!
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Superb dining in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We have stayed in Oxford twice in the last few months and stumbled upon this restaurant thanks to a very helpful local. I can honestly say it is currently my favourite place to eat. The service is friendly and professional, the ambience is perfect and the food is second to none. I need to find an excuse to get back there soon!

  • Visited March 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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86 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    25
    4
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Berkshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good Lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

My friend and I were visiting Oxford for the day and walking down Cowley Road towards the city centre. We'd been browsing in the shops and as we passed by Door 74 we noticed the menu which looked interesting and varied., so feeling hungry,we went in.
There was only one table occupied by two people who were about to leave and as I looked at my watch I realised it was rather late for lunch - 2pm. ( time flies when you're shopping! ). We were greeted warmly by the girl behind the bar who said that although it was late it was absolutely no problem. Immediately we were served with a bottle of water and two glasses before being presented with the menu.
We decided to go for the lunchtime menu - two or three courses with several choices for each course.
We had two courses for less than £8 each. I had bubble and squeak with a poached egg on top which was really tasty. My friend had an organic burger with a bun which was well presented and served with fries and alioli. She was asked how she wanted the burger cooked; she said medium-rare, and when it arrived it was cooked to perfection.
For dessert we both had lemon and meringue ice - beautifully presented.
Overall we were very impressed with this restaurant and the friendly service. We didn't feel in any way rushed despite the fact that we had left it so late to have our lunch.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A good Sunday brunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

A bit quiet for lunch on Sunday, but good quality of food for both vegitarian and omnivore. A very acceptable Burger and fries hit the spot. Good choice of music playing as well.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Big disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We recently went to Door 74 for dinner having read rave reviews here on Tripadvisor. Sadly we cannot agree with these other reviewers.

We were celebrating a birthday, and booked our table several days in advance. Knowing we were bringing a baby and a toddler, we specifically asked for room for a buggy and a pram at the table.

(Originally we booked for 8pm but we called up to change this to 6pm on the day, as we decided that would be more appropriate with the children. We were told this would be fine).

When we arrived we were surprised to find we had only been allocated a table for 4 people with absolutely no room at all for the buggy or the pram. There was no space for a high chair either, which we needed for the toddler. Once they brought a high chair for him, he ended up squashed up at one end of the table – where there really wasn’t room – practically on top of the couple at the next table, who (understandably) were probably not very pleased. The pram had to be squeezed in at the other end of the table, again where there wasn't really room and in the way of chairs at other tables.

I don’t know quite how they could possibly have expected us to fit around this table – even if we had folded the buggy and the pram, where were the children supposed to go? Levitate above the table?

To add insult to injury, as we sat down we were told that they would “need the table back by 7.45pm” (it was 6.20pm). Admittedly we were a bit late but even if we had been on time that would have only allowed us an hour and forty five minutes for our meal. This was NOT mentioned earlier when we called to change the booking time. Had it been, we would of course have gone somewhere else – there is plenty of choice in Oxford.

So we had neither space nor time to enjoy ourselves. We felt thoroughly uncomfortable and rushed, not to mention embarrassed, as we were clearly in the way of other diners.

Did the food make up for it? Well, it was hit and miss. Our starters were generally good – ham hock terrine and caramelised red onion tart were very good, roasted veg soup was adequate. Main courses were less successful – pasta with butternut squash and crème fraiche was ok, but the game hot pot was not good – the meat was dried out and the gravy extremely watery. But the semolina and ricotta chips were nice.

Needless to say, we would not return. They obviously prioritise cramming in the numbers above customer comfort and satisfaction. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend it to families, which they are clearly totally incapable of dealing with, even when given advance warning, but the food wasn’t really consistent enough to recommend it to anyone else either.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Oh what a night...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

45 or so of us sandwiched into this friendly restaurant, plus another unrelated event upstairs, and yet the service was 100%, prompt and helpful. Ham hock terrine, Mackerel Pate, in fact everything on the menu was excellent. Can't wait to go back, highly recommended.

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