Mange Tout a L’escargot Bleu

I had a light supper at L’escargot Bleu some 18 months ago and have been meaning to go back ever since so when an old friend, ‘Mr G’  got in touch it seemed perfectly fitting that we should catch up in our old stomping ground, Broughton Street.

Authentically French

I just love this restaurant, it oozes Gallic charm, the friendly welcome, the amazing cheese board on display near the bar, the large murals of Edith Piaf, Liqueurs and from French Movies. The tablecloths are all uniformly mismatched, the smells are divine and the clientele are quietly well-heeled, really reminiscent of restaurants in the South of France. I really shouldn’t have been surprised that on a dull Autumnal Wednesday night it was almost full.

Malbec-Cahors

The wine list is, as one would expect in a French restaurant, bursting with delicious sounding vintages from a variety of vineyards along with a range of Aperitifs all adding to the authenticity.  Prices range from £14.50-£42.00 with a good variety on offer by the glass. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I love my Malbec so when I saw a Cahors-Malbec it just had to be (Cahors is another favourite of mine to accompany cheese). On ordering the wine we were also brought a little appetizer of beetroot jelly topped croutons, yum!

Bon appetit

The menu is a triumph, I could easily have chosen any of the dishes and been delighted. It’s not extensive but it smacks of quality, classic French recipes but made using finest Scottish ingredients, entrées £4.60-£6.80. No question for me, it had to be the namesake escargots to start, Burgundy Snails Provencal en gratinée with almonds, garlic & pernod butter. Mr G chose the Inverary Roe Deer Terrine with Lanark Valley tomato chutney and black tapenade croutons.

The decision was somewhat more difficult for the Main, they all sounded delicious but in the end I opted for Braised French rabbit with Gaulish Beer “cervoise” and Scottish girolle mushrooms, Mr G, the Sunnyside Farm veal braised shoulder “en Blanquette” with pancetta, baby onions and mushrooms. Main courses priced from £13.80-£42.00 (for a whole rib of Buccleuch Estate Beef, carved at your table in case you were wondering) and Vegetables/extras £2.20

French Rabbit

The wine delivered on it’s promise and the starters were beautifully presented, little touches like the giant pickle jar and wooden tongs  to accompany Mr G’s and the fresh green salad with my snails added to the experience. The staff were attentive, thankfully French, and efficient. The Mains were perfectly timed and served with much aplomb in Creuset crockpots. The smell when the lid on the rabbit was raised was divine. Both the veal and rabbit were cooked perfectly and just melted in the mouth. They were dishes that you were genuinely a little sad to finish even though I couldn’t manage another morsel.

Veal "en Blanquette"

So to the Ratings, the bathrooms 7/10 (in keeping with feel of the place & a gorgeous smelling French soap), The service 9/10 and the overall has to be a really good 9/10.

I could happily eat here on a regular basis, it’s understated yet incredibly well though out and has a very different feel to other places on this road. The passion of the Chef for his food shines and the fact that several people felt comfortable to dine alone here made for a super dining experience. I look forward to trying their sister restaurant L’escargot Blanc, in the West End in the near future.

L’escargotbleu.co.uk 56 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SA. 0131 557 1600

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6 Responses to “Mange Tout a L’escargot Bleu”

  1. September 18, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Sounds great.

    • September 18, 2010 at 11:59 am #

      It was great, my mouth is still watering at the thought of the meal we had! highly recommend

  2. November 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I love L’escargot bleu (and have a soft spot for L’escargot blanc too). Rustic, authentic French cooking makes me not just really full but also happy and comfortable. I *love* their choucroute.

    • November 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

      I know what you mean Caroline, it’s that feeling of ultimate satisfaction that radiates after a well cooked French meal that makes them so attractive. I have yet to try L’escargot Blanc but it’s definitely on my radar

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