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Great Queen Street: Great Queen Street, near Covent Garden
I was eagerly anticipating our evening at Great Queen Street - not only was I going to spend some time wining and dining with loved ones, but I was also going to get to check out one of the current 'places to go'.
Located a stones throw from Covent Garden, Great Queen Street is seemingly trying to keep a low profile, with no signage on the exterior. There was just a small menu stuck on the front window with the name, along with the tempting dishes on offer.
On entering the red-walled, wooden floored, attractive space, I was momentarily taken-aback by the noise. Yep, this is a noisy place with no soft furnishings to help soak up the excited chatter. That said, the atmosphere was great, and the place was really buzzing at 7.30pm on a Monday night.
The staff were wonderful - friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, patient. I wanted to become best friends with them all. The crowd was animated, with a good mix of after-workers, groups of friends, tables for two, and even one of the owners of Arbutus/Wild Honey was spied sitting at the bar with a mate.
Favorite Dish: The menu was an intriguing mix of British fare, with dishes simply named, such as "Crab on Toast" or "Foie Gras" or "Cup of Gazpacho" - no need to ask for menu translations!
There were six of us dining, and to start we all shared the Smoked mackerel, and two of the daily specials - the Snail salad, and the Pigeon bruscetta. The mackerel was deliciously smoky, and the pigeon even impressed our resident pigeon-phobe.
For main course four of us shared the Seven hour neck of lamb and boulangere potatoes - what a great dish! The lamb was so tender, and the serve of potatoes was probably big enough to feed the whole restaurant! We also had the Braised shin of Hereford beef, and the Braised duck. These choices got the thumbs-up as well.
Dessert finished off the meal perfectly, and included the Little chocolate pot, and a few scoops of the Banana & Caramel ice cream and the Pear & Vanilla sorbet.
We had an excellent evening at Great Queen Street, though I wouldn't go there in a group again as the noise made it impossible for the whole table to participate in a conversation. Next time it will just be me and Alex, and a good bottle of red ; )
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