The Delaunay, Covent Garden, lovely but could be friendlier

More 40th birthday meals, I know you can't wait to read this! Well this was much better than the smoke and mirrors of Polpo but nowhere near as good as Le Gavroche. However as an upscale smart place to eat out in the notoriously uneven Covent Garden area The Delaunay is a good choice. My old Uni friend Tazza was treating me to lunch as it was my birthday. I cycled across to Aldwych on a very hot day so didn't look my best when I arrived however the reception staff were charming taking my ragged cycling bag off me and showing me to a nice table in the centre of the handsome room. The Room at Delaunay is a real star it oozes quality, lots of dark wood panelling off set with glowing art deco lighting. The restaurant is split into 3 with an all day counter which is aimed at the coffee and Danish crowd, you move through to the striking bar which has an informal feel and then onto the main room and restaurant proper. The main room looks the part, crisp and smart it radiates quality. Tazza turned up shortly after me and we settled in for a very pleasant couple of hours.

Tazza kicked off with a salad whilst I was a bit non plussed with the selection of starters so opted for the steak tartare. It was good but possibly the wrong choice in view of what was to follow. I was in the market for a decent wiener schnitzel after a rather dry effort at Boopshi's. The Delaunay version was a real cut above. A huge piece of thin breaded veal resting on a sticky beef reduction sauce. It was fantastic. The sweet veal and crispy crumb combined with the intense sauce was a mouthful of wonder. Lovely stuff. Tazza had the sole goujons with chips which she enjoyed. We didn't drink much but the conversation flowed. The room was pretty empty when I came in at midday but it quickly filled up with a mixed crowd of tourists and business people. There was a subdued buzz to the room which was in keeping with the refined aesthetic. It was also lovely and cool in the main room without the air con making it arctic.

Service was efficient but not terribly friendly, I understand the pressures of keeping a big operation like this moving but surely a happier crew would help. However we weren't rushed off our table like happened to my brother at their stable mate the Wolseley. One disappointment though was my coffee. This is billed as a European cafe and they serve the filter coffee in a lovely cafetiere (the only way to have coffee in my opinion) but when I poured it the contents were barely above luke warm. A small slip but in this sort of place charging these prices it shouldn't happen. Taryn got the bill but I think the pricing was firm but fair. All in all a very nice bit of lunch and I would certainly return.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7

been back since with Baby G who enjoyed it, it's a beautiful restaurant but it is pricey for what you get. 

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