Reviewed by Debbie Morgan
I had one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life at Pied Nus, a pop-up restaurant by the makers of Michelin-starred sister restaurants Pied à Terre and L’Autre Pied, which had a brief lifespan over a year ago. Being a pop-up, it wasn’t there for long, so I was very keen to try the mothership, Pied à Terre, to see how it would compare.
Pied à Terre has recently undergone a £100k makeover, and is an impressive space: the tablecloths and leather chairs are in stark contrast to the stripped-back, rustic interior of Pied Nus, and the main dining room is open and bright with lights reflecting off the gold-panelled walls, which adds a touch of opulence to the room. This restaurant means business.
We were one of the first to arrive, and with the openness of the restaurant and the lack of music playing, we felt a bit conspicuous with our chatting. Take a tip from me and go later: as once the tables filled up, the ambience warmed with the general buzz of fellow diners, and the space came into its own.
Confronted with a wine list the size of a telephone directory we had to enlist the sommelier’s help, and as we both enjoy a dry white wine, he recommended a bottle of the Baixas Santos 12 from the Galicia region of Northern Spain, which was delicious. The food menu was far more manageable in terms of choice, although all the dishes were so tempting it was still difficult to decide. In the end we went for the Salad of Winter Vegetables with Smoked Duck Breast, Garlic Mayonnaise and Shiitake Mushrooms, and Marinated Hand Dived Scallops with red Prawns, Yuzu, Fennel Pollen, Lemon and Tarragon Vinaigrette; and for main courses: Suckling Pig Belly with Glazed Trotters, Golden Raisins. Jerusalem Artichokes and Chicory, and Anjou Pigeon cooked on the Bone with Japanese Artichokes, Morteaux Sausage and Oyster Mushrooms
They all looked like art on a plate - exquisitely presented - and they tasted incredible: the pigeon in particular just melted off the bone. Plus, all the dishes were exactly the right size- not too filling - meaning I simply had to try one of their desserts as well. Either side of the delectable chocolate mousse, we were presented with miniature additional desserts, including an array of chocolates.
We still managed to fit in a decent spread of farm cheese, and considering I had said yes all but once when I was offered extra bread on the side (I wanted to try the white, brown and onion-infused rolls…), it’s safe to say I rolled home afterwards. And I fully intend to roll back in due course.
Address: 34 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NH, 020 7636 1178
The ELLEuk Score
Style of food: Exquisite, innovative, modern French fine dining
Good for: Special occasion, romantic meal, business meeting
Prices and Other Details:
Opening times: Lunch Monday to Friday 12.15pm – 2.30 pm / Monday to Saturday 6.00 pm – 11.00pm / Sunday Closed (though sister restaurant, L'Autre Pied, is open
For Sunday lunch and dinner)
Average price per person for tasting menu without wine:
Lunch menu – 2 courses for £27.50
A la carte – starter and main course for £65. Dessert or fine cheese - £15
Tasting menu – 10 courses for £105 or £94 for the vegetarian tasting menu
7 course tasting menu - £75 with vegetarian option. On request only.
Chef’s Truffle menu – 10 courses for £145
Price bottle of houe wine: There is no house wine, per se, but there are some entry wines for both white and red as follows:
White: Verdelho, Tyrell’s Wines, Hunter Valley, Australia 2012 £28
Red: Terra Alta, Crianca, Samso, Casa Mariol, Catalonia, Spain 2010 £27
Champagne: Chartogne-Taillet, cuvée Sainte-Anne, Brut £70
Wines by the glass start at £5.50 and champagne at £13.50.
Private dining: Yes, there is a private bar that can entertain up to 25 guests and a private dining room which seats up to 13 guests.
Garden/al fresco dining? No
Best table? For an intimate meal – the first dining room for more privacy; for a meeting – the booth or power table in the second dining room.
Bar? There is a bar on the first floor for pre dinner drinks or to retire to for coffee.
Who goes? Soho media types, couples, groups of SATC-esque women on a night out
Nearest tube: Goodge Street