Blanchette: Refreshingly Rustic

As a scorcher of a day mellows out into a balmy kind of evening, we’re feeling pretty pleased with ourselves to be making up part of Blanchette’s window display on Soho’s D’Arbaly Street. Nothing to do with the Gin-Tonic looseners enjoyed across the road in Copita, of course. It’s as if we’ve just jumped in a car, and are cruising out of San Sebastian towards Biarritz.

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Window Shopping in Soho
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Blue Steel.
Yes we are in a French bistro, but annoyingly twee, this place is not. It’s a celebration of all things rustic; Saucisson just like the kind you’d pick up at the market in Aix, rough terrines, crumbly salty cheese, all before you’re even onto the main menu. It’s the foodie version of shabby-chic; intriguingly slap-dash, but you know so much thought has gone into every element. And for the record, the beats in Blanchette are a league above any other bistro I’ve ever been in.
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Blanchette’s take on countertop dining is anything but annoyingly twee.
The house champers is Jacques Picard. Since we’re making it like we’re en France, I can’t think of any other way to kick off the proceedings.
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Staying loyal to the start-as-you-mean-to-continue Rule.
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So fizzin’ happy to become acquainted with Jacques Picard.
Despite just smashing a big plate of Ibérico in [Copita](http://verykerri.com/2014/07/12/copita-smile-if-you-love-a-bit-of-tradition/), we still find room for a sniff of truffle Saucisson. Wouldn’t you? Top marks for originality go to flavour-packed warm confit of salmon with duck and puy lentils. The fish falls apart and is paired surprisingly well with the duck, something I’d usually paddle way from.
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The sort of plate that makes you smile on the inside.
A Very Kerri favourite; just-seared peppered tuna is served with the crunchiest tenderstem. These two lovely things are accompanied by a punchy Piperade, making the whole thing oh-so-Provençal, darling.
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Just-cooked fish, crunchy veg, fresh flavours; tastes like Provence.
Braised lamb shoulder and anchovies are two things I struggle to say no to, so when they are paired together with obligatory rosemary, I am on it like a car bonnet. And we all know that Bearnaise makes me do somersaults, so of course it’s getting thrown into the mix.
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Fall apart lamb with a salty anchovy punch. In!
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Bearnaise on anything. Especially chips. Classy.
Not a big dessert-head, we fire a slab of goat’s cheese, specifically Charlois, into play which I am loving for the hit of saltiness alone. The guys even manage to rummage up some gluten free bread to boot.
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If didn’t already have a reason to order another bottle of rose, we do now.
You could bring almost anyone to Blanchette. Sit at the bar, soak up the forthcoming unpretentious attitude to French food and drink far too much salmon-coloured rose. Santé!
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Following a divine sojourn in Provence, we’re back in our little rental car heading for the hills.
Five Very Kerri things about [Blanchette](http://www.blanchettesoho.co.uk)
  1. Rustic approach
  2. Beautifully presented dishes
  3. French food that you genuinely don’t feel full-for-a-week after
  4. The playlist
  5. People-watching paradise