Little Social, Mayfair, Pricey

Baby G is away at his grandparents at the moment which has allowed my lovely wife and I the rare treat of a night out in the West End. I had been working late so she popped up to meet me by way of Liberty's. There was some talk of a new handbag so I suggested we discuss this further over a bite to eat. As you may have noticed I have been a bit light on reviews so far this year so I was keen to try somewhere new. I suggested we try the Little Social , the little brother of the Pollen St Social. I can remember back when this site was the Black Lion & French Horn, a really dowdy Mayfair pub which had the worlds grumpiest landlord, smelly toilets and which was amazingly busy most nights. Fortunately the subsequent Italian restaurant gutted the whole place and started again, however there was little appetite for high end Italian food once Jason Atherton opened over the road so that closed quickly and he took over.

It's a small narrow room inside with enough room for about a dozen or so tables/booths but there is seating at the bar. It's all very much the dark panelling look inside but this is lightened up by a great neon light work on the stairs down to the kitchen. We tried for a walk in table but this place is very 'so hot right now' so nothing available for a couple of hours though we were offered a meal at the bar. As you may have noticed from my Electric Diner review bar stools can be a bit uncomfortable but these were fine so we took our perches and settled in for a very pleasant evening. We started with a cocktail, my lovely wife had a French Negroni and I had their Corner Collins, both good but at £12 a pop toppy! To start I had the steak tartare of the specials menu which was really top notch. Really tasty, great quality meat though I did feel the quails egg was a touch unnecessary. My lovely wife had the foie Gras Terrine which can be a bit dull but here was a wonderful slab of meatiness. We washed this down with a carafe of top draw house red. A great start to our meal and by now the restaurant was packed with a lovely buzz which probably made the background music redundant.

For mains we decided to go lighter so my lovely wife had a halibut dish with intensely flavoured stewed tomatoes and sweet bacon, she loved it. A clever combination that really worked. I went for the roast cod with butter beans and cabbage which was lovely, however again the cockles were an ingredient too much. It added nothing to the dish apart from a bit of grit. That apart a lovely dish. We shared a side of beautiful broccoli and poutine which is a mixture of chips, chorizo, mozzarella cheese in a spicy sauce. I liked it but my wife wasn't so keen, it was like something I would concoct with leftovers at uni. Lots of nice bits on the dessert menu but we opted to share the wonderful tarte tatin, probably the best I have had. I washed this down with a lovely glass of tawny port whilst my wife returned to the cocktail list with a Paloma Faith. A coffee and Armagnac followed and then to the bill.

Now here I was a bit shocked, it was a great meal, good food and wine but at £220 for two it was really very expensive, we were also sat at the bar which though very classily done up, it's still eating at the bar. I also queried my Armagnac listed as a 12 year old I was served 8 year old at the same price. They do a cheaper prix fixe menu at lunchtime but this is very pricey eating out so it's a treat only for us. However I would recommend this as it's a lovely place to spend a couple of hours in a convivial atmosphere. The service was professional yet friendly. This was the sort of places the late lamented Langan's Bistro and Odin's could have grown into. I will go back for lunch to try out the prix fixe as this is one place that lives up to the hype but it does also have very hyped up prices.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Overall rating
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6

Cha Cha Moon, Soho, rubbish

ChickenLiquor, Brixton, a great spot