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September 23, 2015updated Oct 09, 2015

Boulestin

By Chris Boyle

Located in the heart of historic St James’s, Boulestin takes pride in attention to detail with every aspect of a meal. In the first half of the 20th Century,  X. M. Boulestin’s knowledge and love of his country’s cuisine enabled him to showcase French recipes as well as dishes from other parts of the world. And it’s his level of passion that founder Joel Kissin has brought back to the London restaurant scene.

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The classic dishes on the menu are from M. Boulestin’s pre-war cookbooks, including Oeuf en Gelée, Soupe de Poissons and Jambon Persillé. The restaurant is characterized as leaning towards French food, but as with Boulestin’s recipes,  there are also dishes that are not French.  The Head Chef Elliot Spurdle is continuously inventing and developing the menu, with dishes such as Braised Beef Cheek & Pan-Fried Fillet with Bone Marrow & Squash Purée being an immediate hit.   There’s also Ballotine of Chicken with Truffle Compote, and Roast Veal Loin with Wild Mushrooms.  New lighter dishes include a mouth-watering Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates, Fava beans and Courgettes, an Heirloom Tomato Tart with Burrata and a Fresh Squid Ink Linguini with Cornish Crab, Artichokes and Chillies.  If you’ve a sweet tooth (or even if you haven’t) the Sauternes Custard with Agen Prunes in Armagnac is like nothing else! They are open all day from 7.00 am for breakfast (10.00 am for Brunch on Saturdays) and throughout the day until 10.30 pm.

IMG_6074 DeliceThe restaurant boasts outside seating in a historic courtyard garden, away from the traffic, lit by antique original gas lamps.  This courtyard is the site of the last duel in London and the panels, lining the entrance, previously formed part of Henry the Eighths tennis court.  There are no gimmicks or tricks in this restaurant.  The restaurant serves delicious, creative, carefully prepared food,  with discrete and friendly service.  The charming restaurant is lined with drawings and paintings after those done by Jean-Emile Laboureur – the illustrator of most of Boulestin’s cookbooks, meaning wherever you look in the restaurant, there is a reminder of where the inspiration came from.

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