Posts Tagged ‘russell square’

Resto 37 Bon Vivant, Bloomsbury

October 29, 2018


Where does one go when one’s just staggered out of Jean Cocteau’s Orphée wondering ‘What the f*** was going in that thing?’ French I guess, to keep the vibe going. Not too far either if it’s the coldest day of the year and you’ve got a stinking manflu. So we went to Bon Vivant, which has replaced a perfectly good Italian on the corner of Marchmont Street, something I’d slightly held against it when walking past previously.

But rarely does London stay still and BV does a good job of imitating a standard French bistrot. A pungently good French soup worked wonders as a starter. Despite being in the grip of  la grippe mâle. I could taste the garlic and got a good fishy slap around the chops to boot. The Viognier fared less well against such a blast of flavour, I should have picked a red. Good bread kept us going while we waited for the next round.

For main a confit duck leg was good without being to slaver for and came with death by spuds (one of The Fall’s B-sides compilations) but not by vegetables. Some frizzy lettuce made like tumbleweed across the plate before I pronged it and scoffed it. A sticky red wine sauce was excellent, as was the service.

The room was empty when we arrived at 6 on a Sunday but it soon started to fill up with mostly visitors to these shores. The music was all over the place, starting Europoppy and then moving onto to something more soporific. Except for the volume which always stayed just the wrong side of discreet. I could have done with some Georges Delerue, or indeed to keep with the Orpheé theme, some Georges Auric. And what the pre-pubescent boy at the next table made of the rather lascivious décor in the ‘powder room’ I’ve no idea but it wasn’t to my taste. The food, on the other hand, was. Next time I’ll order me own légumes.


#Food #London

To see where else I’ve eaten go to the GoogleMap

Review #34 Cosmoba, Russell Square

April 12, 2016

After a convivial meeting with some South African co-authors in The Lamb (whose praises cannot be sung too high) we were once more crippled by the rules. The Lamb’s natural successor is Cigala but that was off the agenda. I’ve heard good things about Noble Rot but the mood of the group wasn’t in favour so we went in search of somewhere open at 5 in the early evening and ended up, after a bit of a trek (there’s one for my Afrikaans chums) in Cosmoba.

Cosmoba’s curious name is explained by it being located in Cosmo Place – the little alley between Southampton Row and Queen’s Square that I never realised had a name of its own. The reason for coming here would normally be the Queen’s Larder, which is an outstanding pub, but Cosmoba also rises above its bulk tourism setting to offer something that a Londoner would appreciate too.

The front room was full so we had a table in a curiously corridor shaped back room where a row of tables leave room for the waiter to shuffle past to reach patrons in the distant corner. Slightly off putting at first but fine once you get used to it. The food is standard Italian stuff with a few Sicilian specialities to liven up the selection – we had good crispy arancini as well as antipasto to start.

We all had pizza for main, and it was good pizza. A proper thin base and generous helpings on top with a rich tomato sauce. Table wine at about 18 quid a bottle was nothing special whereas the service was the standout feature. A cheerful, friendly waiter (and the food he brought) turned a hungry, tired and irritable group of four people into a functioning family unit having a good Saturday night out together. That’s a rare talent.


To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

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