Saturday 12 December 2020

Maison François, Duke Street, Central London


Housed in a grand building with high-ceilings and theatrical lighting, Maison François's striking Art Deco dining room can imbue any meal with a sense of occasion. The French menu is safe and stimulating at the same time. The emphasis is on classic French dishes made with high-quality ingredients, precision and passion.  Among the starters, the rock oysters, sauce mignonette (£21 for six) and the assiette de charcuterie (£15) are both top-notch takes on traditional favourites, while the anchovies, ricotta and thyme, with grilled bread (£9.50) is a treat for the taste buds.  On a cold winter's day, the special main of green lentils with bacon and a Toulouse sausage (about £17) is hearty and enjoyable, particularly when combined with the moreish pommes Anna à la truffe (£7) and the rustic cabbage, anchoïade, breadcrumbs and chilli (£8). For fish lovers, the halibut in a mussels sauce is a tad pricey at £29, but gets rave reviews, while the hungry might opt for half a roast chicken cooked in herbs for £24. The very extensive wine list starts at about £26 a bottle and is heavily orientated towards France and its European neighbours. If you are celebrating, the Toffoli Prosecco Frizzante (£36 per bottle) is a decent option. Providing proficient, yet relaxed, service, Maison François successfully occupies the middle ground between fine dining and a fun meal out. 8/10