A victim of the 90s recession, the esteemed restaurant Boulestin was forced to close its doors in 1994. Fast-forward to September 2013 it’s back, and has shimmied over from its old Covent Garden site to the more illustrious setting of St.James’s Street.
Owned in 1925 by Marcel Boulestin, hence the name, Joel Kissin now heads this fine French brasserie. Café style dining is at the front of the restaurant, which leads into more elegant and formal dining at the back. If weather permits, there’s an option to dine al fresco in the enchanting and secluded courtyard. I eat at the back of the restaurant, which has just enough other diners, who are mostly seniors, to make for a nice atmosphere.
Now, littered around this site, you’ll find various musings of my love affair with French food, in particular Cassoulet and Saucisson. So it may come as a suprise that faced with the opportunity to order cassoulet in such a fine establishment – I decide not to order it. Primarily because I’m in the mood for something lighter.
I opt for scallops with broad beans, peas and pea puree to start, but not before downing a wonderfully, plump and fresh oyster. The scallops come perfectly seared and delicately cooked, but could have done with a citrus or salty and crisp element to balance the flavours and textures.
There are no niggles with the main, duck is served lovely and pink and the fat well rendered – it’s a fine piece of cooking. A decadent side of Pomme Anna, which is a bit like dauphinoise without the cream, but just as calorific, accompanies it.
Dessert ends the meal on a high, or maybe it was the whisky (must add that they have a fab boozy selection of drinks), either way, a Lemon Tart is just as it should be with a nice sharp centre, velvety smooth in texture and a buttery light base.
The food here is quintessentially French served with great panache. Boulestin is spendy, but you can dine at the front café part for a reasonable £19.50 for two course or £24.50 for three. I’ll be returning for a date with the below – that is for sure!
Cassoulet – (I’ll be back!)
Food I Fancy dined as a guest.
St James’s Street
London, SW1A 1EF
Tel: 020 7930 2030