I really dont want the reader to feel negative about this review ---we had a very pleasant evening at Becasse for a family celebration - we had excellent food ( more later ) and delightful wine but I think the front of house experience could be a little more polished. These are tiny points but if like me you enjoy fine dining and are prepared to trump up the funds to do it, then if La Becasse is going to regain its star, the restaurant must match a price tag of £110 per head in terms of its performance.
We arrived and were greeted by the manager and shown to a room upstairs for aperitif drinks, and how lovely that was to relax on a sofa before going to table. So far so good. We were then passed to a young lady --delightful person - but with a gravy stain on her front - who served the drinks and a few nibbles. After 10mins or so we were given the menus and wine list and began to choose - then rather a period of time elapsed during which no-body came to speak to us and my guests had finished their champagne ( we ARE fine diners not guzzelers ) so there was a reasonable interval, but the staff could have sold another round of drinks if they had been a little more attentive. The menu choice settled I ordered the wines from the same waitress not a sommellier and so having listened to me she went away but had to come back to verify the order and to ask me to show her the page on the list - ie she doesnt know her list as she is not a sommellier. Please none of this is a tragedy --far from it -- the young lady in question is a delightful person but if the restaurant really wants to up its game these are the points that need addressing.
when we were called through to table we were served sparkling water by one new staff member and I asked for the Menetou Salon to come with the mise -en -bouche. This was then served by ?a wine waiter/ sommellier - yet another person anyway. When the food came we met a charming frenchman from New Orleans --staff member number 5 - all delightful but I finally gave in as to who precisely was looking after us that night!!None of them volunteered that information at any stage and so the cossetting part of being entertained was missing and the personal touch didnt quite materialise.
Food --admirable cuisine --a veritable explosion of fine flavours from the little satay and then crab and curried carrot soup amuse bouches to my son in law's hallibut with vanilla foam which had him mumbling words of pleasure all the way through to my excellent rare beef from Hereford just down the road cooked to perfection and generously portioned with a red wine reduction ( could have done with a tiny sauce boat as the sauce "ran out" before the beef ) again fussing but a lovely touch with such delectable food. Our red wine, a Clos Henri from the Marlborough estate in NZ, was fabulous and the desserts ended a superb meal.My son in law however had cheese which again was mature and incredibly tasty but as there was red wine left over he was the one to finish it as we were on sweet desserts but no-one was around to serve him so I did it myself
Please go --this critique is written by a fussy old man who would like to see Becasse succeed and to do that it needs an observant manager who checks his staffs' uniforms, looks at peoples' glasses to see when they are empty, introduces a responsible staff member for the duration, and just keeps an eye on timings a little more closely than was the case for us. I wish them all success - and can't wait to return - but more than anything I hope my review is positive critique rather than negative.
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