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Majestic Wines

Hardwood Furniture from Sustainable Sources

Chez Gerard

8 Charlotte Street
London W1P 1EH
Tel. 0207 636 4975
Fax. 0207 637 4564

Monday 29 Jan '01

I'm in London for a course this week. I'm staying at the Euston Thistle, as its next door to the place I'm visiting.

In the evenings, I'm almost obliged to visit restaurants to review for our site, so I wander down Charlotte Street. I've been down here before (L'Etoile, Bertorelli's) and I'm looking forward to a reasonable meal.

Chez Gerard is mentioned in the hotel magazine, so when I walk past it, I'm tempted. (Chez Gerard is part of the group including Bertorelli's, Livebait and Soho Soho)

First impressions are favourable, though it's not what you would call busy. The waiter is suitably Gallic, and suitably charming, and I elect to go with the prix fixe menu and sample the soup of the day, followed by Filet Onglet steak.

First olives and salted nuts, accompanied by fresh french bread, butter and Anchovy butter. I begin to look forward to the evening.

The soup - Roast Tomato and Black Olives - arrives and is, how can I put this: nothing to complain about. It is rather insipid. No - that's too strong a condemnation - it is somewhat less flavoursome than I'd expected.

The steak arrives. It is accompanied by an enormous helping of fries. The steak is flavoured mainly by charring. It reminds me somewhat of the Italian style - Bistecca a la Brace - a cut not familiar in England. The fries are a little greasy and unremarkable. I finish the steak, but half the fries are superfluous. The whole place could do with a spring-clean, and it was only the charm of the waiters which prevented me from leaving completely disappointed.

One beer,
Menu Prix Fixe
1 large glass of house red
Service Charge
Total 26.10

Verdict: In London, this might seem to be a reasonable deal. I maintain that only a little attention to detail would transform this experience from dull to good - things like ensuring the washrooms are pristine add up to a lot in my book. I don't think I'll be going back - there are too many other places to try.

Sandro Melkuhn

Eatanddrink Ratings

Chez Gerard

Total Score: 58%
Quality: Average
Service: Good
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Average

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