Previously on The Blog About Nothing... in London!

  • sandsend The Sands End
    Imperial Wharf Gastropup
  • dipnflip Dip & Flip
    Dipping Sandwiches and Flipping Burgers
  • cocomaya Cocomaya
    Only one word... Cronut
  • dolcecrema Dolce Crema
    Coffee and Gelateria in Barnes
  • rustica Rustica
    Pizzeria in Richmond
  • gingerpig The Ginger Pig
    Pies and Rolls
  • allpress AllPress
    Coffee Bar and Roaster
  • dishoom Mestizo
    Authentic Mexican Cuisine
  • boblobster Bob's & Co
    Great Lobster Roll
  • lowlander Lowlander
    Belgian Pub
  • flatcap Notes Barrows
    Great Coffee Takeaway in Borough Market
  • saltbeef Borough Market
    Salt Beef Time
  • monaco Cote d'Azur Roadtrip
    Betting in Monte Carlo
  • cattlegrid Cattle Grid
    Steaks & Burgers
  • portobello Portobello Ristorante
    Lovely Italian Cuisine in Notting Hill
  • emberyard Ember Yard
    New Slider on the Block
  • onecanadasquare One Canada Square
    Modern European

McNally NYC French Brasserie in London

One of the most popular French Brasseries in NYC is now in London. Balthazar a place that brings opposite opinions for locals, some flag it as a tourist traps others as a true gem. Keith McNally not only brought the concept and the name, the place is a pretty close replica of the Soho venue in Manhattan, similar décor, layout, and menu. 

The Place
This was my second try to get into the place. At least an hour wait for the walk in tables, around a month for the telephone bookings. The main issue I observed is that they don’t rush anybody there, which is great if you have a table but not as much if you’re waiting. While I was waiting a couple ladies spent at least 45 minutes with a small cheese plate, no more than two small pieces of brie and blue, and then 30 minutes more without anything but tap water to pay the bill. Don’t get wrong but if you have a waiting list of 10 you should at least try to rush a bit some of the tables. Seriously the service is extremely nice and respectful, the problem is if you are waiting for a table the ladies then become in your mind two old tarts that don’t want to leave. 

Seafood
Finally a table near the bar
Finally got the table, checked the menu for a couple minutes, and we went for lobster and black truffles risotto and coquilles St Jacques as starters, and for main steak frites and a grilled lamb T-bone. The risotto had a great flavour, the cauliflower and truffle butter nice but a bit mild. The scallops were perfectly cooked, not the traditional recipe but a nice version. 

Risotto
Coquilles St Jacque
Steak frites, steak perfectly cooked medium rare, nice French fries. The lamb T-bone was nicely cooked, the chorizo, beans, and carrot sauce was too sweet, a little unbalanced. As side got some onion rings I spot while waiting, they were superb, the best ones I have had, the batter was spot on, great seasoning, and a extra touch of salt that put it over the edge, amazing! 

The Lamb Lies Down on Covent Garden
Steak frites
Balthazar is one of my favourite places in NYC, one of the first memories I have of Manhattan. I have to say I liked overall the London copycat version, but I don’t have this sentimental connection with the place as I have with his big sister from Manhattan. If you’re not dying to go just wait until the buzz relax a bit, I will be coming back to try the burger and more onion rings for sure.

The rings
T-bone reminds me the Seinfeld episode “The Maid” 

Kruger: Mary, I will have a chef's salad
Male worker: Turkey sandwich
George: T-bone steak
Kruger: For lunch?
George: Well, I am just a T-bone kind of guy. Love that T-bone. In fact, you might as well call me…
Watkins: That sounds good. I'll have one, too
Kruger: Watkins, you're having a T-bone?
Watkins: I love them
Kruger: Well, then we should call you T-bone
George: Uh, no. No, we shouldn't
Kruger: T-bone!
All: T-bone! T-bone! T-bone! T-bone! T-bone! T-bone! T-bone! T-bone!

Balthazar
T: 020 3301 1155
French Brasserie
Approx Damage: £41pp
Area: Covent Garden
Borough: City of Westminster
Balthazar on Urbanspoon
Square Meal


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