After a recent visit to a friends wedding in Dinard I was suffering post Brittany blues, so a friend recommended I check out a little corner of France in Farringdon: the East side Inn.
Bjorn and Justine van der Horst launched the restaurant just over a year ago. The husband wife team promised to serve top- notch food in a warm and friendly environment and the plan must have worked, they`ve since been a roaring success. Devoid of pretension the open plan interior has chefs and guests breathing the same air, the passion and dedication of Bjorn`s team can be watched first hand which has an oddly calming effect – or perhaps that`s the wine working it`s magic!
The Eastside has a fantastic in house Sommelier, Thierry Sauvanot, who chooses all the vintages from small producers. The wine list is one created with time and much care.
Bjorn was working the night I visited, brimming with positive energy as he buzzed around the kitchen staff. I watched as Justine greeted old friends and regular customers, it looks to be doing well in repeat business and without any headline grabbing gimmicks. The food itself is as good as any I`ve been served in a decent London restaurant. Bjorn cut his teeth at the notorious Greenhouse and was also a patron of Gordon Ramsay`s La Noisette. Combine this education with a Dutch, Spanish and most importantly French inheritance and you begin to understand the menu. Foie gras, spider crab, duck rilette and roasted bone marrow are just some of the classics listed on the menu and as everything is regionally sourced, organic or home made you can rest assured quality is first rate.
My Gallic yearnings were soothed reading specials such as `cassolett like in Toulouse` and moules `Normandie style` Going with Justine`s advice we sampled their famous prawns al creamat, nibbled on served fat juicy olives and tore at freshly made bread dipped in olive oil. With desert we were left with no choice, we had to indulge in the `homage to Wimbledon`. The east side boasts and incredible pastry chef who apparently has a sense of humour, a tennis ball shaped white chocolate and raspberry cream desert came out and was quickly demolished
Typical of the Inn we were served a glass of champagne and along with the rest of the guests invited to toast their first birthday. After dinner we popped around to see the new bar where locals were putting the world to rights over one too many. This is place where good food and wonderful wine should be shared and enjoyed amongst friends. Simple, honest and just simply great I almost don`t feel like blogging about it. Farringdon`s French secret might be discovered.
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