My partner and I recently revisited this charming French inspired restaurant in Chichester to celebrate our fifth anniversary. On arriving, we were greeted very warmly by the staff and shown to a table in the bar area, whilst we waited for our table in the restaurant to be prepared for us to dine. Whilst sipping our pre-dinner drinks we were offered both the food menu and wine list. The food menu was split into two main choices of set menu, The Monet and The Versailles - both of which offer diners a great balance of both meat and fish-based, contemporary French dishes. Vegetarians need not fear as they are also catered for! Choosing The Versailles menu (well it was our Anniversary), my partner decided on the soup to begin - cream of onion soup, if I remember rightly, which was finished off with a belly warming hint of brandy, whilst I chose the scallops which were delicious and plump! Our main courses ranged from the roasted saddle of Welsh lamb and the mixed seafood dish comprising of half a lobster as the main feature, all cooked to perfection. Our meals were accompanied by a very full and flavoursome red wine I believe to have been the Rioja (my partner) whilst I chose a very crisp but surprisingly smooth Chablis to accompany my seafood. For wine drinkers, there is a very comprehensive wine list that includes half bottle measures if you prefer. Spirits, beers and soft drinks are also available.
Desserts were varied but, having the savoury tooth of the two of us, I decided to finish our meal with the selection of cheeses whilst my partner chose the creme brûlée. As you would expect of this type of cuisine, it does not lend itself to vast portions but that said, after three courses, I left the restaurant feeling comfortably full and thoroughly sated! Overall on all fronts, from the staff, the relaxed formal ambience, the perfect presentation and execution of the food, this is a venue not to be overlooked. It is as though you are being welcomed into your best friends home! The great sadness is the news of the proposed closure later in October - without going into too much detail, it will be closing due to ill health and given the restaurants 30 year history and association to Chichester, this little Gem of Gaul will be very sadly missed by all who have experienced her delights! Booking is always advised and do support this lovely restaurant and ensure that she receives a good send off! Highly recommended!
Mr's J & T Finn-Ford