There are two kinds of friends: those whose judgement you can trust when it comes to what constitutes good food, and those whose judgement you cannot. When meeting with the first, you are at ease when they suggest a restaurant, and the second, you do everything in your power to steer them to a venue of your choosing.
Thankfully, last night I was meeting with the first, and I am always delighted by their choices. Gazette is an unpretentious and authentic French bistro. We dined at the Putney restaurant, however they also have other locations in London’s leafy South-West. The menu has your usual suspects: foie gras (which is the goto of my friend), tartare, steak frites, moules. We are there on a Thursday and you can get half a lobster for twenty quid. My eye, however, is caught by the roast partridge. The flesh is gamey and rich. Its accompaniment of caramelised chicory root is utterly delicious. Never having eaten this before, I instantly notice a similar texture to that of Jerusalem artichokes; there is a starchiness and a slight resistance. They are glorious. They also contain a significant amount of inulin (fart-maker) so beware.
Dessert, is bloody good. The taste tatin is a giant plate of golden, crunchy pastry with gorgeously caramelized apples. I nearly can’t finish it all – but it is so good, I persevere. It makes such a difference to have freshly made desserts and they are always worth the wait.
The service is friendly and it is obvious that a certain atmosphere is paramount to the restaurant’s overall appeal and mission. Gazette is certainly worth a visit and then another after that and another after that.