Bites: London's latest French restaurants

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Cosy by Conran standards, this set the boule rolling by bringing back faithful renditions of French classics when it opened at the end of last year. Treats include oeuf en cocotte grand-mere, coq au vin or cassoulet cooked with convincing simplicity, and they put on a trolley good show of charcuterie, along with another chariot for cheeses and one for superb dessert tarts. £40 to £50 for dinner; lunch, early or late dinner is £14.50 for two courses.

Almeida Restaurant and Bar, 30 Almeida Street, London N1 (020-7354 4777)

Cosy by Conran standards, this set the boule rolling by bringing back faithful renditions of French classics when it opened at the end of last year. Treats include oeuf en cocotte grand-mere, coq au vin or cassoulet cooked with convincing simplicity, and they put on a trolley good show of charcuterie, along with another chariot for cheeses and one for superb dessert tarts. £40 to £50 for dinner; lunch, early or late dinner is £14.50 for two courses.

Brasserie Roux, 8 Pall Mall, London SW1 (020-7968 2900)

Massive, central and very French, the former banking hall part of the Sofitel St James Hotel musters the stuff of a dream brasserie, thanks to Albert Roux. Duck confit, pig's trotter, snails, rillettes and pâtés, andouillette and succulent offerings from a rotisserie represent the meat side. Alternatives are soupe de poissons and a whole section of the menu devoted to eggs. Pre-theatre menu is £20 with half a bottle of wine. Double that for eating à la carte.

La Galette, 56 Paddington Street, London W1 (020-7935 1554)

Joe McDermott had a dream: to make Breton pancakes properly. That's what his La Galette does in Marylebone – expect buckwheat at its best against an undistracting, unthemed backdrop of plain wood, banquettes, and brickwork. There are 14 fillings ranging from baked aubergine, feta and tomato to scallops, leeks and mushrooms. Top price is £8.60. Olives, caperberries and cornichons whet the appetite, Breton cider in a porcelain cup slakes the thirst. For afters, crêpe Suzette is flamed at the table.

La Rascasse, 50A Berkeley Street, London W1 (020-7629 0808)

Much more than a pit stop, this part of the huge new Café Grand Prix complex takes 170 diners. Despite the Monaco motor-racing theme, La Rascasse restaurant is more faux Belle Epoque. Yet Mediterranean dishes such as sea bass escabeche, crab soup and roast French pigeon turn out to be impressively high performance. And with lunch for £19.50, it's less to fill up here than it is to top up a family saloon.

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