12-13 Heddon Court Parade, Cockfosters Road, Barnet, EN4 0DB
The lovely folk at The Restaurant Club invited me to dine with them at La Petit Auberge and I was very happy to accept. The Restaurant Club was initially a Facebook group founded in 2015 to connect foodies in their love of independent restaurants. This has now expanded to become an ingenious incentive scheme to connect discerning diners with independent restaurants in and around London, and fill empty seats at quiet times. Diners pay £30 a year for The Restaurant Club membership card, which gives them up to 30% off in almost 200 independent owner-managed eateries. Please pop to http://www.therestaurantclub.com for more info or email The Restaurant Club ladies direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
On this very cold evening I was very happy to be entering the warm bosom of La Petite Auberge where everyone feels like family. Owned by Gizem, this very stylish spot serves food all day, breakfast to dinner and everything in between.
Gizem has an impressive portfolio of fantastic restaurants around north London and is demonstrably passionate about serving quality authentic food. The sister restaurant in Islington has been open and serving loyal customers for 10 years!
From the outside and upon entering this restaurant is Art Deco influenced but modern, smart and classy with clean lines.
There is a large bar where you can relax and drink french wine or cocktails (next time cocktails will be on my hit list), a number of tables at the front and more toward the back of the restaurant. This is where we sat and is really very beautiful with a wonderful tree centrepiece bursting through the floor. With the ceiling mostly being made of windows this would equally make a lovely location for a bright and sunny brunch but with the low lit lighting in the evening, a perfect location for a romantic dinner for two.
Now to the most important part… the food! We had a three course set menu at the private dinner with three options for each course.
For starter we had…
Salads de chevre chaud-warm goats cheese salad on a bed of toasted bread with roasted pepper and pesto sauce. A generous wheel of cheese balanced with lots of lovely crunchy salad, finished with a lovely basily (is that a word, I’m going with it anyway?) dressing.
Champignons de Paris Farcis- mushrooms filled with garlic butter, topped with breadcrumbs, parsley and cheese. These, as you can see from the picture, truly lived up to the decadent, rich French style of cooking. Dripping with butter and cheese, these were naughtily divine!
For mains we had an authentic Boeuf bourguignon – French beef casserole with burgundy wine, carrots, mushrooms and shallots. Served with mashed potato, which was the absolute bees knees. The mash was creamy, buttery and smooth and was quite literally the best mashed potato I have had in a very long time…if ever? I could have eaten just that alone and been as happy as a lamb. The beef casserole was comforting and heartily beefy with the glossy appearance you would expect from lashings of burgundy wine being lovingly added… YUM!
For pud we chose:
Tarte Tatin – caramelised apple tart served with ice cream. Not a fan usually of apple tarts or pies because you either get apple which is overcooked, watery and tasteless or rock hard and hasn’t seen any heat at all. This was none of those things and spot on perfect. The apple was soft, perfectly caramelised and almost nutty but still maintained its integrity. Very warming and a perfect antidote to the cold weather outside.
Chocolate Profiteroles topped with warm chocolate sauce. Filled with cold vanilla icecream these crispy profiterole really finished off my meal beautifully.
Thanks to Gizem, Bex and The Restaurant Club for the invitation and being such wonderful hosts and company.
A fantastic restaurant with great food and I will be back for cocktails!!