Date of Last Visit: Thursday, July 29
The Victim: Niculie
The Damage: £20 each
The Background: I was never much one for long leisurely lunches at work. Too much to do! But in the days leading up to my departure from London, I had an opportunity here and there to say goodbye to friends and coworkers, and my move seemed to provide just the right amount of a justification for–if not a long lunch–a leisurely lunch.
So it was that Niculie and I found ourselves at Cafe a Vin, the bistro end of Galvin La Chapelle. Now truth be told, I actually thought I had booked La Chapelle via the Galvin Web site, but I must not have been paying attention because when I actually checked the e-mail confirmation, Cafe a Vin it was. This was fine as the set menu at the Cafe is a very reasonable and attractive £14.95.
The Food: I started with a generous serving of gazpacho, which while prettily presented, smacked of too many carrots for me and needed a very generous sprinkling of salt. I could have used more croutons too.
This was followed by a nice roast chicken on a bed of risotto. A simple dish and nicely executed, but as Niculie said afterwards, "It was just chicken and rice." I really have to stop ordering chicken in restaurants, as it's too easy for me to dismiss it afterwards. This was a very honest plate though and did what it said on the tin. I just wasn't overly enthralled by it.
The Setting: Yet again, I forget to take outdoor shots. We enjoyed our table a fresco and watching all the busy office workers swarm into and out of Spitalfields and its environs.
The Verdict: Not worth a particularly special trip. But a good value (wines available by the carafe) and nice setting just the same.