Fix Up, Luc Sharp / Hg2 RESTAURANT REVIEW

When it comes to one of London‘s best foodie hotspots, Marylebone Village has it pretty much wrapped up. Particularly if Café Luc, at 50 Marylebone High Street, is anything to go by. Decked out like a grand European café, complete with plush leather banquettes, oversized mirrors, strip lighting and a central chandelier, it’s a chic neighbourhood brasserie beloved by both locals and ladies-who-lunch. As you can imagine, the restaurant’s stylish interiors and sophisticated menu attracts some of the city’s highest fliers. On the night of our visit; a power couple in the Chanel-suited form of a mother and daughter discussing their Dior purchases and preening obscenely big hair; a boisterous business dinner with more wine and Blackberrys scattered across the table than actual food; and a loved-up couple schmooching between mouthfuls of delectable steak tartare and a seemingly never-ending bottle of red. With the scene set, we were handed our menus and left to peruse the French/Belgium-influenced options. For starters we opted for the signature steak tartare with toasted sourdough bread – satisfyingly spicy and not mashed up into a condensed, sickly ball as served by so many competitors – and a platter of six oysters with shallots and red wine vinegar. Fresh, zesty and light, they were a delight to knock back with a flute of flirty Champagne. For mains, we opted for roast Gressingham duck breast, boy choy, turnips and five-spice sauce – tasty enough, but not nearly as pink (nor as tender) as we’d have liked – and a more successful chicken supreme with Champagne, wild mushrooms, diced bacon and pappardelle. Decadent without being too filling, it left enough room for a nutella crème brûlée – more sophisticated than it sounds – and a just-right cheese plate of St. Maure, Livarot and Stilton. When it comes to wine, the options are reasonably priced (most are below £50 – though there are a couple over £200 for lushes feeling flush) and over 50 per cent are French. All of this certainly doesn’t come cheap in a place like Café Luc, but perhaps it would be suspicious if it did; after all, you expect to pay for the razor-sharp service, sophisticated style and spot-on substance offered within the chic confines of this impossibly cool eatery.
SITE: cafeluc.com
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