Posted on Monday, 12th October 2015
LES GOURMETS DES TERNES
The original Les Gourmets des Ternes in the 8th arrondissement in Paris opened in 1962 and has a long history of serving celebrities and politicians alike. The walls on Les Gourmets des Ternes are adorned with pictures of famous guests, the likes of which include Sharon Stone, Jack Nicholson and Nicolas Sarkozy.
Les Gourmets des Ternes in Knightsbridge is the younger sibling of the Parisien original, and the ground floor of the restaurant boasts of the same menu and bistro décor as it’s older sister. Les Gourmets des Ternes specialises in traditional French cooking, using produce imported from France. Dishes include such French classics such as andouillette de Troyes, beef bourguignon and sole meunière. On the first floor there is the Rendez Vous Bar, an intimate Champagne and foie gras bar with a capacity of 25-30 people.
Six pieces of escargot (£7) came out piping hot with a generous drizzling of garlic butter which we loved. The butter went swimmingly with the snails, and it also made for a good dipping sauce for our bread. The snails were well cooked with a good firmness to them. There is sometimes a tendency to overcook snails which makes them too soft. Here at Les Gourmets des Ternes, they had a nice firmness to them.
Homemade foie gras (£18) was flavoursome and abundant with a rich fattiness and a silky smooth texture. Fromage de tête (£8), a terrine of pig’s head came highly recommended, and again we enjoyed this starter. Tender and well seasoned, the terrine was meaty and well seasoned.
A celeriac remoulade (£7) was a nice way to complete our selection of starters. The remoulade was really well done with the celeriac having a good bite to it. The creamy dressing was also very tasty, with a lovely tangy acidity to it that was great for balancing out the richness of our other starters.
The mains were also tasty, if rather simple in their execution. We both elected to have meat, trying the la pièce de beouf (£33) and veal fillet with Normande cream (£31). The beef had been perfectly cooked medium rare and was tender, succulent and juicy. It was a lovely cut of beef, well seasoned with a robust flavour.
The veal was also delicious and again very nicely cooked and tender. The Normande sauce with mushrooms was pleasantly creamy and light enough to not overpower the sweet, delicate flavour of the veal.
However, the desserts were a disappointment. The dessert du jour (£6.50), a fruit tart, lacked the wow factor. Rather than a sweet pastry, the tart consisted of a puff pastry which did not have the fresh, light, flakiness that would have made the pastry really enjoyable. The fruit topping wasn’t quite sweet enough, and on the whole the tart was bland. The rum baba (£9.50) also fell flat. The cake was very stodgy and it lacked for the alcoholic syrup which helps to keep the baba moist.
The desserts at Les Gourmets des Ternes were a huge disappointment. But we really enjoyed the savoury dishes, particularly the starters which were a little more interesting than that of the mains. The menu is a very classical one. It doesn’t have the flair or creativity that you would associate with modern French cooking, but it would serve those who favour very traditional French dishes well. The service was pleasant and friendly.
1. The savoury dishes were solid and tasty.
2. The menu would suit French traditionalists.
1. The desserts were a disappointment.
2. There is nothing on the menu for those who prefer modern, creative French cooking.
Starters and mains: 3.5/5