47 Farringdon Street
Overall Verdict: Highly Recommended
YOU: Have enough money to eat pretty much anywhere in London or other major cities. You love great food, fine wines, and great service and want to know the place in which you dine is attractive and cozy enough for both business dinners or romantic nights out.
YOU: Money is not running over but you want to have a great night out from time to time. You love good food and wine and are proud to say you know some of the best values in town. You want a nice spot without attitude.
YOU: Can only afford to go to one or two “really nice” restaurants a year and have a special someone you wish to take on a romantic date. You want it to be special, memorable, have amazing food, and not completely break the bank.
Message to ALL OF THE ABOVE:
Go. To. Vivat Bacchus. Now. Really.
I actually dined here on Valentine’s Day so am way overdue writing this review.
Before starting our meal, we were given a bottle of sparkling wine to excite the palate. Good stuff but the smells in the place were already stirring up my taste buds so the champagne just went straight to my head.
Pan fried scallops paired with Quinta de la Rosa Branco 2010 from Portugal came next, with the first and only hiccup of the night. The wine did not show up at our table until the scallops were almost done. This was the only major show of amateur service though I will get to service later. That said, the scallops were great and we forgave her for getting out of sync with the wine as the next course came.
The main course consisted of Grilled venison cutlets with squash and beetroot gratin. The venison was bone in and this was the first time I ever had it like that. JUICY. FLAVOURFUL. PERFECTION. The sauce complimented the meat splendidly and the venison was prepared to just the right temperature. At this point in the meal, I started checking out the chef and making eye contact. Really, can we be friends? You cook for me, and I will …. Buy the ingredients? Wine? Serenade you and run a bath with rose petals?
For dessert, I had the MOST amazing chocolate trio with a decadently rich torte and a gluttonous stem ginger mousse. It was paired with a Banyuls from Roussilon. This French version of port is absolutely perfect with chocolate and the choice of this bottle was inspired. …. Banyuls Rimage ‘Les Clos de Paulilles’ 2008. … I seriously considered asking the chef to marry me at this point but thought I was way unworthy so decided instead I would just have to become a regular!
The team here seemed happy to welcome us and the other guests. They were friendly and prompt. While there were a few signs of amateur servers, the manager continued to oversee the meal and typically was able to keep things on track and flowing smoothly. The courses were well timed and our glasses were always filled. Even when she screwed up the wine match with the first course, we actually still had water and champagne so were ok.
This restaurant is apparently one of a few owned by the same team. I am very interested in seeing the others. The layout of this place was quite odd, with a long and narrow column of tables somewhat crammed in like a bowling lane. (yes, I go bowling sometimes). It was a bit loud yet still allowed us to have a decent conversation, get a decent amount of people watching in, and enjoy watching the chef work kitchen magic. It was a unique restaurant that did not follow the format of other restaurants. Rather, it seemed content to be unique, a bit quirky, a bit disorganised, and full of good wines. As is my preference, the open view of the kitchen less the flames and smoke was a nice addition.
Having recently dined at La Chappelle in London and Graham Elliott in Chicago, and especially after my Michelin Quest of 2011, I have been excited to spend this year finding contrasting restaurants that offer similar quality food and much better prices. I found one such restaurant n Vivat Bacchus. The meal was approximately £140 for two, compared to about 3 to 4 times that much at La Chapelle.
Would I go to a Michelin starred über expensive fine dining establishment again? Of course! Those places do tend to offer a level of service unparalleled by most places, interesting and innovative cuisine, and enough posterior region kissing to impress your guests without turning them off. But, and I find myself somewhere between person 1 and person 2 above, this is where I would go for a guaranteed good meal at a good price. I have enough money to dine at the finest places but why do that when I can dine at great value spots and donate more to worthy causes? Happy stomach. Happy heart. Happy Adam.
In short, this place is a great value.
I love great food and great service. Vivat Bacchus had great food and good service. I want to know the place in which I dine is attractive and cozy enough for both business dinners or romantic nights out. I would take a date or colleague to Vivat Bacchus. I am proud to say I know some of the best values in Chicago and am excited to build my list for London, my new home. Vivat Bacchus has made that list early in my transition. There is no attitude, they have amazing food and one meal here will not break the bank for most people.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Vivat Bacchus and would be more than happy to go there regularly, with friends or colleagues. And I look forward to getting to know the chef. If you are reading this, Chef, you are welcome to come over to my flat anytime. I will provide the wine if you cook! But, no bath. That might be awkward. Smile.
In relationship with #foodies,
Adam L. Stanley | ALSWharton Connections
For more reviews, go to my yelp profile here or find me on TripAdvisor with username ALSWharton.