Cocktail Bars Baker Street Galvin Restaurants
It’s been over a decade since Chris and Jeff opened the doors on their first restaurant together – Baker Street’s now quietly iconic Bistrot de Luxe. In those eleven years a lot has changed – in the industry, the area and definitely in the world – but one thing that hasn’t changed is the ethos at Bistrot. Classic French cookery with its feet firmly in the bistro tradition and a seasonality which, rather than being faddish, looks to make the best use of the finest ingredients as they come in to season – this is what drives the offering. Wrapped up in this too is the relaxed ambience and service which always looks to be unobtrusive, reassuringly knowledgeable but un-showy – it’s the diner enjoying the food here which is the centre of the world and we’d like to think that that is a part of Bistrot standing tall among the restaurants of Baker Street for a decade and more. Recently, head chef Tom Duffill has introduced a new menu which, in its own quietly classic way, looks to reaffirm Bistrot’s place among the best restaurants in Baker Street too. Simple, classic, and undeniably French in its influences, starters include (at time of writing) escargots in garlic butter, Galvin cured smoked salmon and steak tartare with sourdough and truffle mustard. Alongside these are dishes which we simply couldn’t say goodbye too – it’s fairly certain there would be (civilised and genteel) rioting in the streets if the lasagne of Dorset crab was ever to slip from the starters board – and new seasonal offerings which blend the best British ingredients with classic French techniques: the Navestock Estate pheasant and boudin noir pithivier with jus gras for example. Main course choices include a delicately rich risotto of pumpkin, wild mushrooms and comtè cheese, roasted Cornish plaice with a fennel and mussel chowder and wood-roasted spiced leg of lamb with smoked aubergine and tomato. The balance of traditional techniques and subtle innovation with the best of the season’s ingredients is how the Bistrot ethos shows itself clearly and this new menu has reaffirmed its commitment to the simple deliciousness of bistro-style cooking with a range of simple sides to allow diners more choice and customisation. Before we get too distracted though, the dessert menu has had a similar treatment – crème caramel with sablé Breton vies for your attention with pear soufflé & pain d’epices ice cream or a spiced chocolate ganache with sable Breton and passionfruit sorbet. The dish which once again would cause outrage if it were to disappear – the Galvin tarte tatin – is safely ensconced at the heart of the list but it does face some stiff competition…
It’s not just in the restaurant that Bistrot has been evolving – tucked away below, our private bar and dining room Le Cellar has been given even more to offer as well. Having always been a space to enjoy an aperitif, a glass or two of something from our extensive cellars or indeed gathering people together in intimate seclusion, Le Cellar has now become Baker Street’s premier cocktail bar as well. A menu of classic mixed drinks is of course available but it is the bespoke collection, created for us by bar consultant Giancarlo Mancino, that has people excited. Ranging from a simple twist such as a blend of gins in the Maison G & T – VII hills combined with Sipsmith sloe gin and served with East Imperial tonic, a Calvados Sour where this icon of French spirits is given a spike of citrus and a balancing aromatic edge from chamomile syrup, to an Espresso Time where freshly brewed espresso coffee joins absinthe and caffe Borghetti to create a distinctly different experience. This is before we get to the Claypot Negroni or Scattia, but more on those another day. For some reason or another, Baker Street has never been famous for its cocktail bars and, while one will not change this straight away, if you’re looking for an after-work drink or way to enhance your appetite before tackling Bistrot’s new menu, Le Cellar is the place to do so in style.
Basement cocktail bar Le Cellar at Bistrot – how many restaurants in Marylebone have a cocktail bar?
Le Cellar is a tucked away cocktail bar in Galvin’s Bistrot de Luxe, making it not only part of one of the best restaurants in Marylebone but now one of Baker Street’s premier cocktail bars. The perfect destination for intimate gatherings when looking for a restaurant with a private room for hire or a space to have an aperitif and to enjoy a delicious mix of classic cocktails. For something a little bit different bar consultant Giancarlo Mancino has created a selection of bespoke cocktails, which make it the perfect place to sip on something special.
What makes Bistrot de Luxe one of the best restaurants in Marylebone, is not only the delicious traditional French cuisine and seasonal menu, it’s also the wine selection. Le Cellar offers an extensive range of wines and champagnes from their cellar, which can be perfectly paired with the food, but also enjoyed if you are just in the mood for a drink in the basement bar.
Marylebone restaurants are one of the main things the area is known for, so the addition of a much needed cocktail bar sets Bistrot de Luxe apart from others. The distinctly different cocktail list includes simple twists on classics from the blend of gins in the Maison G & T – VII hills combined with Sipsmith sloe gin and served with East Imperial Burma tonic, or something a little more adventurous, the Espresso Time, which perfectly balances espresso, Absinthe, cafee’ Borghetti and sugar syrup. If you are more inclined towards a delicious interpretation of a classic bellini, the Double Bellini is made with white Sicillian peach puree, Prosecco and peach foam.
It is quite clear why the bars at Galvin’s Bistrot de Luxe and at Michelin starred Galvin La Chapelle, would want Mancino to come in and be the consultant to revamp the bars at their restaurants. Hailing from Pignola in Southern Italy, Mancino has worked in some of the best bars around the globe, starting off in the cocktail capital, Manhattan. Starting his career at St Regis Hotel, New York Mancino then moved to Florida and attended the Show Tenders School to learn from master bartender Cory Campbell.
In 2000 he moved to London to work with Salvatore Calabrese at The Library Bar at The Lanesborough Hotel. That same year he was crowned ‘best UK bartender at the prestigious Class Bar Awards. In 2001 he was awarded that same title and followed with being world champion in 2002 in Singapore with I.B.A and in 2003 European Champion with U.K.B.G in Algarve Portugal.
Giancarlo Mancino’s expertise as a renowned Italian bartender has led to the perfect partnership with this Marylebone restaurant. Le Cellar’s cocktail menu includes an iconic martini, which is must for any cocktail bar but this version uses Mancino’s own brand of artisanal Italian vermouth, named Mancino Vermouth originally launched in 2012 in Berlin and has since launched in 30 countries.
So whether you are looking for the perfect cocktail bar, the best restaurant in Marylebone or a restaurant with a private room to hire for a special occasion, Bistrot de Luxe and Le Cellar certainly aren’t going to disappoint and there is no denying that you will have a great selection of drinks to choose from this February … Cheers!