It is no secret that Hélène Darroze at The Connaught is one of my favourite fine dining restaurants in London. The food is creative and beautiful and the service is always immaculate and friendly. So whenever Hélène announces a special Sunday lunch menu I like to be one of the first to try it.
The Le Pot-Au-Feu du Dimanche celebrates the traditional French beef stew, most often served on a Sunday. Hélène has deconstructed the main elements to create a thoughtful five-course menu showcasing simple classic ingredients with flair and a touch of luxury.
Every meal at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught begins with delicious delicate snacks. The vibrant orange espelette butter and the freshly shaved Bayonne ham are always my favourites.
The “Le Pot-au-feu du Dimanche” Menu
Bone Marrow Roasted bone marrow with parsley crust, caviar, capers, pickled shallots, Meyer lemon, gem lettuce and salad of fine herbs
Leek Charred leeks with “saucisson lyonnais”, leek “velouté”, morels
Beef Lake District Farm beef fillet, foie gras from Les Landes Confit pork belly, veal sausage Traditional “bouillon” perfumed with ginger and lemongrass
Salad Light “gelée” of beef consommé, confit terrine of brisket and oxtail Young vegetables and salad, horseradish and grain mustard
Lemon tart Candied Meyer lemon, “sablé breton”, coriander and lime emulsion
Each course was beautifully balanced. The fatty bone marrow was decorated with a selection of vinegary condiments cutting nicely through the rich marrow, and was served with a light and fresh salad. The leek dish was perhaps my favourite of the meal, the vegetables had a subtle charred taste but were soft and beautifully cooked. A creamy veloute was served at the table, absolutely divinely smooth and moreish.
The main event was plated at the table, a rustic beef stew with a few extra elements. Despite the chunky vegtables and meat, the traditional broth was perfumed with hints of exotic lemongrass and ginger. The dish was unlike anything else I’ve ever eaten by Hélène, homely and comforting and yet still decadent and memorable.
A little salad of beef consommé gelée was an unusual dish, topped with brisket terrine, young vegetables, horseradish and mustard. After the hearty stew I was ready for sweet flavours so found these mixture of strong savoury tastes a bit too much, but can understand why many would enjoy it as a plate cleanser before dessert.
The tropical pudding was a delight. A deconstructed lemon tart with hints of lime and coriander… a lovely range of contrasting textures and flavours. It was the perfect conclusion to another magnificent meal by Hélène Darroze, and a charming glimpse into one of her family’s favourite French recipes.
More information and book a table for the Le Pot-Au-Feu Du Dimanche menu by Hélène Darroze at The Connaught here.