Clos Maggiore, a French restaurant in Covent Garden, does not only offer an incredibly well-priced set-menu (19.50 for 3 courses or 24.50 for 2 courses and a half-bottle of wine) but is also supposed to be the most romantic dining spot in London. So I dragged my better half along for a Sunday lunch.
Before I go into details I have to say that the food was very good apart from one dish and this dish was a complete failure. Therefore I sadly have to give a yellow light even though – also looking at other people’s reviews – I might have just been unlucky. Go there if you are willing to take the risk as the set menu is really good value for money and – even though I would not say that it is the most romantic of places – the atmosphere is very pleasant.
We chose one 3 course menu and oneÂ 2 course menu with a half-bottle of red wine which we shared. The red wine was rather enjoyable especially for being a part of a set menu.
For the starter I had the Devon Crab & Marjoram Brown Shrimps & Cauliflower RÃ©moulade which the waiter recommended to us as being his most favourite dish. I was glad that I followed his suggestion as the crab was sweet and delicate, the shrimps salty and this all together with tiny pieces of cauliflower resulted in a very pleasurable combination of flavours. This was a lovely dish.
|From Clos Maggiore|
I can never go to a French restaurant without having at least a bit of foie gras (I know that there are some ethical issues but I don’t want to think about it, ok?) so RS had to order the Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait with Apricot Marmalade, Toasted Brioche. I personally think brioche is a waste of calories, but the parfait was delicious: tasty and creamy and in perfect harmony with the sweet and spicy apricot chutney.
The Beef with Sauce Bearnaise was really enjoyable even though the beef was slightly overcooked in parts and as a result was a bit tough. The sauce was very good, the potatoes were well cooked and so were the sauteed mushrooms.
So everything up until here clearly in the green light zone and then – I wish I could turn back the time and NOT ORDER it – the chicken. How can this come out of the same kitchen as all the other lovely dishes? What a disappointment. A catastrophe on the plate. A confusion of tastes. No sorry a LUKEWARM catastrophic culinary confusion.Â The chicken was wrapped around some sausage. The chicken was not particularly good, the sausage was quite bad and the combination had an additive effect in the wrong direction. Some thin slices of overcooked, soapy tasting zucchini did nothing to rescue the dish. The tasteless, greasy potatoe cubes were the final kiss of death. And I also really don’t know what this hideously looking onion rings were doing on top.
The dessert was beautifully presented and fortunately lifted me out of my chicken-induced depression. The praline mousse was creamy and chocolaty and worked very well with the fresh raspberries and the raspberry and basil sorbet (I could not pick up the basil taste at all, but it was good anyhow).
So Clos Maggiore, this chicken has to come off the menu, seriously!
- Food: 5.5/10 (without chicken: 7/10)
- Service: 7.5/10
- Atmosphere: 7/10
- Value for money: 7/10
- Chances of returning: 30%
- Verdict: Great value for money, nice atmosphere and you should be alright as long as you avoid the chicken