Pied à Terre is a Michelin starred restaurant in Fitzrovia – all the good places are in Fitzrovia these days! It’s owned by David Moore (you might remember him from the TV series The Restaurant with Raymond Blanc) who also owns Michelin starred L’Autre Pied and the new pop-up Pieds Nus in the old Roganic site, both in Marylebone.
I first visited the restaurant a few years ago when it had two stars under head chef Shane Osborne and I remember it being one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve eaten. I was looking forward to seeing if it was just as good with the new head chef Marcus Eaves at the helm.
It was a really small place with two petite dining rooms – the main one being out the back where we were seated and a smaller (what feels like an overflow room) by the entrance. White tablecloths and plush carpets made for a formal yet wholly comfortable space. It was lovely. Small, but lovely.
The set lunch menu priced at £27.50 for two courses seemed good value, but as this was my lady friends first Michelin star experience we decided to order from the a la carte menu priced at £65 for two courses. Desserts were an extra £15 each. Blimey!
Two amuse-bouches kicked things off. The leek and potato croquettes were a touch on the bland side but the foie gras parfait topped with pigs head jelly was brilliant; it properly amused my bouche.
A generous selection of bread was next served with your choice of salted or unsalted butter – I opted for the former obviously! The onion brioche was exquisite and masterfully made.
My lady friend started with the beautifully presented steak tartare, caramelised veal sweetbreads, barbecue mayonnaise, pickled salsify and smoked eel. It was a delicate blend of flavours and the tangy barbecue mayo was a great companion for the raw steak. The plump juicy sweetbreads were delicious too.
I opted for the roasted breasts and crispy leg of quail, quail Kiev, Douglas fir purée and pinenut vinaigrette which was equally as pretty. The gooey yolk of a little fried quail’s egg provided a delightful sauce as did the pungent garlic butter inside the tiny Kiev – proper lovely stuff. The quail was cooked to perfection too. I loved everything about the dish!
For main my lady friend went for breast of Black Leg chicken with sautéed scallops, red pepper and chorizo purée and a shellfish bisque (£7 supplement). The chicken was cooked beautifully; moist flesh and crisp skin. The scallops were also perfect with their golden exterior and soft fatty centre. The combination of scallops and chicken was rather brilliant as neither one overpowered the other.
I fell in love with my roasted breast of Red Leg partridge with Chasselas grapes, foie gras, quince, celeriac and bayleaf purée. The only problem with this dish was the grapes; as deliciously tangy as they were, they contained a small bitter pip which I had to spit out each time – not hugely pleasant. Otherwise this was a standout dish and the best partridge I’ve ever eaten. The little piece of toast topped with foie gras was a flavour bomb of richness – it was incredible. Some seriously brilliant cooking present here.
We decided to treat ourselves to the selection of Farmhouse cheeses (£17) which was presented beautifully. Some sesame and poppy seed crispbreads arrived protruding from a large wooden tree trunk which was a nice touch. The smell was strong to say the least (I love stinky cheese!) and they all tasted brilliant. Out of a fantastic selection the goats cheese with a drizzle of honey was a particular highlight.
A little pre-dessert was next which was a lemony/passion fruit concoction with some crunchy meringues on top for good measure. Stunning to look at and stunning to eat.
As we were starting to fall into a food coma we thought it best to share a dessert and went for the caramel and hazelnut parfait with maple syrup, vanilla compressed apples and beurre noisette ice cream. As with all its predecessors, this was a stunning dish. It had the perfect balance between sweet and sharp with a brilliant blend of textures too.
If all that food wasn’t enough, petit fours were next as we paid the bill. The first round were good but it was the second lot that really finished things on a high; the coconut ice cream chocolate truffles and the mini warm donuts dusted with cinnamon sugar. What can I say? Pure perfection and worthy of the impending type two diabetes!
Not only did we have spectacular food at Pied à Terre but the service was also wonderful too; charming, attentive and friendly. Our lunch was by no means cheap but with all little extras it has to be one of the best value-for-money Michelin restaurants in London. It’s a truly fantastic place.