Restaurant in London
Informal Neighbourhood Bar & Dining Room
Launched in 2010, Charlotte’s Bistro is a stylish bar/restaurant just off busy Chiswick High Road, a couple of minutes' walk from Turnham Green Tube.
The Bistro, a trendy spot for theChiswick denizens who cram its chic spaces seven days a week, is really two venues in one. Opening onto the street is a lively bar with a fun, informal atmosphere where tapas, wines by the glass and a British artisan beer offering are the order of the day. The bar is expertly run by Fredi who creates top notch, beautifully presented cocktails. Take for instance the ‘Royal Jelly Bellini’, a whirl of Fredi’s homemade fig and honey jam topped with Prosecco, or the elegant ‘Let it Bee!’ which mixes blend whisky with lemon juice and egg white to create a light cocktail. The popular ‘Rainbow Rush’ is Fredi’s take on the classic Bramble cocktail with tequila, lemon juice and a blackberry and gomme syrup. It’s no wonder a convivial atmosphere abounds. The bar also hosts the popular Gin School every Monday evening.
Feeling peckish? An intriguing bar menu hits the spot with its choice of roasted chilli and honey nuts, air dried beef, oysters and selection of small bites which also appear as starters on the main dining menu. We opted for the Cornish sardines on a pear and shallot chutney, strong, decisive flavours which worked well together, and the roast mixed squash with grapes, watercress and goat’s curd, an interesting taste experience.
The raised level dining room with impressive central sky-light is only a few steps from the bar but miles apart in terms of ambience and style. Cool, calm and uncluttered, the décor features natural wood finishes, leather banquette seating and subtle lighting, a mix of wall lights, ceiling spotlights and table candles, which create a cosy atmosphere. Not that you have to choose between the bar or the dining room, you can do as we did by starting in the bar then moving upstairs to complete your meal. That way you can experience all that Charlotte’s has to offer.
Head Chef Alan Barrins and his kitchen brigade deliver contemporary British food, locally sourced where possible. The style is imaginative as seen in my main course choice of roast potato dumplings, young girolles and a parmesan, shallot and Madeira cream sauce; while a sleekly presented sea bream, pan fried and served with haricot beans, tomato and anchovy ragout and fresh samphire was pronounced ‘extremely tasty.’ I have to say though that the meat and fish heavy menu isn’t too kind to vegetarians, though patrons can phone ahead if they have any specific dietary requirements.
And onto the desserts. As I was no longer hungry by this time, we shared the dark chocolate tart which arrived with a generous scoop of tangy, soft yet sharp, crème fraiche sorbet. Other contenders included the lemon and poppy seed cake with English blackberries or the vanilla cheesecake with blueberries.
For good food, quaffable wine, a cheeky cocktail and genuinely pleasant staff who are there when needed, but not the kind that hover over you, then Charlotte’s Bistro is the place to go.
Gilly Pickup is a London based freelance journalist and author
Photos copyright of Mike Pickup and Charlotte’s Bistro
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Advisable|
|Restaurant good for||Couples, Meeting up with friends|
|Cost per head||Medium|
|Dining Options||Lunch, Dinner|
Lunch Monday to Friday 2 courses: £15.95. Lunch Saturday and Sunday 2 courses £19.95, 3 courses £23.95. Dinner 7 nights a week, 2 courses £24.95, 3 courses £29.95. Bottle white wine from £18.
Last updated on 09-09-2013