Frenchie: All the Naughties
Having straight-from-the-oven bacon scones in the 'snack' department guarantees you elite status in life. Add maple syrup and you're just downright naughty. I could only indulge in the smell of these hot cakes but that, coupled with seeing Darty devour them, was enough. So it's fair to say my evening at Frenchie gets off to a strong start.
Having just experienced the anthesis of hospitality at one of my regular Neal's Yard haunts, it's refreshing to get good vibes from the beginning at this Michelin Star-clad joint in Covent Garden. Gregory Marchand brought us Frenchie in early 2016, and it rose to similar fame as its Parisienne sister. Frankly, I wasn't pushed, as I can't stand the area. Besides if I was EVER going, it would be now-closed El Nivel for Ocho margs, Duende for killer tapas, and then back to El Nivel for more tequila soaked good times. Bog-standard Tuesday night right there.
I'm hankering for some of the snackporn adorning our table and home in on the crackling. Unless it's Ibérico, hand-carved darling, pork and I aren't great pals. Thank goodness I throw caution to the wind this evening as it would be a great shame to miss Marchand's version with blobs of Granny Smith and crispy sage.
Seaweed is having a moment-slash-year; high in protein, salty and versatile, I genuinely can't get enough of the stuff. OXO's seaweed aioli is currently top of my list. Anyway, I'm delighted to see this champion ingredient adorning the lemony tortellini in front of Darty. Then for the second time tonight, I'm devouring something out of character, foie gras. Big slabs of fat just don't do it for me, but of course Frenchie's version is light and mousse-like, with a slick of sharp rhubarb jelly through it.
Some small part of us had sense when ordering and we're sharing a main. Continuing the favourite things theme, anchovies are a godsend in cooking and artichokes remind me of all the well-oiled summers in France. The accompanying perfectly-cooked sea bass is just showing off and the whole dish is a triumph.
Two glasses of Chianti and a dark chocolate pecan-laced bannoffe later, and we're anyone's. Sometimes pud is an afterthought; one of the reasons I don't usually give it a look in. Although, anything chocolate-related is always an exception, and Gregory Marchand celebrates the humble cocoa bean's greatness at Frenchie.
Darty's still on the fence about all the hype, fusspot. For me, Frenchie nails what I bang on about all the time; underselling and overdelivering. From the first impression, it is slick and smart but not stuffy, and this carries throughout the experience.
Five Very Kerri things about Frenchie
- Minerally Riesling Fab 16
- Bacon scones
- Bacon ice cream
- THAT dark choice pud
- Wine wars with my husband