Galvin La Chapelle, with its exquisite location in a former chapel on Spital Square, is one of the Galvin brothers’ London restaurants that is a go-to for classic French food in elegant and grand surroundings. The Michelin-starred restaurant is always a popular choice, but for those looking for a more relaxed and intimate dining experience, we highly recommend Galvin Bistrot & Bar, which is located at the back of the property.
Just a stone’s throw away from London’s Spitalfield’s Market, at Galvin Bistrot & Bar guests will be wowed with the restaurant’s twist on the traditional Parisian or Lyonsian bistros, the kind you always want to find when you’re on holiday in France, with instantly recognisable decor – dazzling metro tiles, tin ceilings, and bentwood seats – and, of course, the most classic comforting French recipes.
The a la carte menu includes signature dishes such as steak tartare, confit duck cassoulet, and rum baba served at the table. However, on the particular evening we visited, we were treated to the restaurant’s Journey Through South-West France tasting menu, where we ate our way through the most memorable and delicious courses paired with a selection of curated natural wines from South West France, showcasing the very essence of South West France. The wine and tasting menu dinner was the first in a series of wine events to be held this year in Galvin Bistrot & Bar.
The special menu, crafted by Head Chef Joe Albina with Michelin-star chef, Chris Galvin complimented the unique profiles of each of the wines and its rich history expressive of their homeland.
Admittedly not being big drinkers,we have always been more interested in food than the wine and we couldn’t wait to get started on the tasting menu but on this particular evening we found ourselves enjoying the wine as much as the food. To start with we dined on 18 month cured Bayonne ham with black truffle and celeriac remoulade – beautifully presented, light and an excellent start to what would be a standout dinner in London. The first course was paired with a Marcillac Vieilles Vignes, which was complete with all sorts of dark fruits and intense forest flavours. Moving onto the second course, we enjoyed the roast monkfish served with a veloute of morels, spring vegetables and wild garlic, outstanding and paired with a glass of Bergerac Blanc, Moulin des Dames – complex with flavours of apricot and citrus and an ideal match with fish in a creamy sauce or shellfish.
Our last two courses consisted of a slow cooked Pyrenees lamb shoulder with piperade and goats cheese ravioli, as tender as one would expect, filled with complimenting flavours and truly the star of the show. This was paired with a Clos de Gamot Cahors Rouge, an elegant and intense red, perfect with lamb. We ended our journey through the South West of France with a gateau basque, paired with a Jurancon Moelleux, a medium sweet wine with nuances of exotic fruits including pineapple, mango and passion fruit and a hint of wood spice.
All in all, Galvin Bistrot & Bar is the most perfect spot for a date night, with its dim lighting, French posters, and faded mirrors transporting you to a simpler era, where the PING of an Outlook notification is a distant memory.
The 5 course menu with paired wines and coffee is £95 and further dates can be found below:
Friday 24th June: A Journey Through Provence
Friday 28th October: A Journey Through Languedoc Roussillon
Thursday 17th November: Beaujolais Breakfast