It’s hard to fathom how many times I must have walked past Le Garrick without ever dining there. Having worked on the corner of Garrick Street for several years, I would pass daily and yet somehow never made it through the door; shocking, I know. Well reader, I’m happy to confirm that’s now been rectified, and with great pleasure as well, as this establishment is a true gem that should be on any radar for fuss-free French dining in London. Le Garrick has sat on the same spot for 37 years and has become a little slice of France in Covent Garden. Mere moments from Leicester Square tube, it’s become beloved for its pre-theatre offering as well as its à la carte menu , serving up classic regional French dishes.
Upstairs the dining room offers a smattering of tables squeezed in – very Paris bistro vibes – ceiling strung with fairy lights, it’s cute and cosy. Downstairs may have more space, but with the lights low it’s a romantic spot for a date night (as long as you don’t mind garlic). It would be rude to come for supper and not feast on the classics, so we indulged. A goat’s cheese salad featured two warm slabs on a crisply dressed base, while a dish of escargots arrived suitably drenched in parsley garlic butter, ready to be mopped up by slices of fresh baguette, perfection. Their French onion soup, with its cheesy soaked bread afloat on top, is an excellent warmer (if I worked nearby, I’d be inclined to take a Tupperware in and ask for a takeaway office lunch on cold days…) and richly flavoured with thyme. The moules frites were reminiscent of Charente seaside lunches; messy, garlicky deliciousness with a healthy portion of crisp frites to dip into that lovely white wine sauce. Across the table, satisfied murmurs implied the confit duck cassoulet was also a great success. Despite straining waistbands, we took one for the team and tried a pudding, the crème brûlée a suitably light sweet to end on and the perfect finish to our meal. Accompanied by a bottle of Languedoc Picpoul, it was the perfect French feast.
I’m appalled it took me so many years to get through the door of this Covent Garden institution. Le Garrick is a delight on the dining scene and a real flavour of France sans the fluffy flourishes you find elsewhere. Real, simple, superb French cooking you should try next time you’re in town.
10-12 Garrick Street