Photograph courtesy of Boyd's Brasserie
Despite close proximity to Trafalgar Square, you would be forgiven for not knowing about Boyd's Brasserie on the not terribly notable Northumberland Avenue. However, once aware, there's no excuse for skipping it next time you're out for a fine meal in a stunning setting.
Owned by Charles Boyd, previously of top end caterers (ie slinging posh nosh at garden parties for the Queen) Chester Boyd with Head Chef David Collison in the kitchen, Boyd's is situated within the “Marble Hall” of the former Victoria Hotel (originally opened in 1887 and recently reopened as The Grand at Trafalgar Square). One to consider when you need to wow your dining companions (or simply treat yourself), the brasserie offers a “restored splendour” sort of dining environment with its just this side of jaw-droppingly elegant marble walls, chandeliers, plush seating and expansive centre stage bar.
In full disclosure, Londonist wasn't hip to this exceptional eatery before being invited to give their upscale cuisine a go, but were more than pleased with our experience at Boyd's. We had a tough time choosing from the menu but finally decided on a delicious glazed Golden Cross goats’ cheese, shaved fennel and beetroot salad (£6.95) for our starter and a well presented and very filling beef brisket cooked with red wine, thyme, cocotte potatoes and braised vegetables (£15.95) as our main. No complaints!
A glass of rich (and dare we say buttery) 2008 Argento Reserva Malbec (£22.00 for a bottle) complimented our salad much better than we had assumed and accentuated the brisket exquisitely. For dessert we had a scrummy Gypsy Tart (£6.25) and an espresso (£2). We'd be keen to return but next time might be inclined to explore the brasserie's selection of grilled 21 day aged Scotch beef steaks from the Cairngorm National Park (from £20). Chicken liver and foie gras pâté, ﬁg chutney and toasted brioche (£7.50) as well as a short and inexpensive tapas menu (most items under £3) looked worth a repeat visit as well.
Service during our meal was friendly and informative; we had no idea what a Gypsy Tart was or which wine would go best with our dishes but our server hooked us up like a champ. Even if the food hadn't been so good or the service had been off, we'd still have to recommend Boyd's to anyone looking for a snazzy spot for special dining occasions.
Boyd's Brasserie is located in The Grand at 8 Northumberland Avenue (WC2N 5BY). Visit the restaurant online at www.boydsbrasserie.co.uk.