Review: PAUL unveils first bistro, Le Restaurant du Paul, Covent Garden

Le Restaurant de Paul is situated behind the bakery

Le Restaurant de Paul is situated behind the bakery - Credit: Archant

Artisan bakery chain PAUL, has transformed its Covent Garden branch into a traditional French bistro, offering classic provincial dishes.

Rich and cheesy onion soup

Rich and cheesy onion soup - Credit: Archant

Le Restaurant de Paul’s cosy décor and period artwork provide a pleasant atmosphere to enjoy a meal in the West End.

We started with the onion soup, topped with large Gruyère melted croutons. The soup was delicious and comforting as the croutons soaked into the rich, flavourful broth.

We also ordered a side of frites, which were excellent, matchstick thin and skin-on, emphasising the venue’s homestyle element.

With this good start, we were excited about the following coc au vin and confit duck.

Although beautifully presented, these were less successful. Both dishes were too salty to finish and arrived served with a mash that was neither light nor fluffy.

The coc au vin was well executed, with two generous legs of cornfed chicken swimming in a stew of vegetables and pearl onions. But without disengaging the meat from the broth it was difficult to take more than a few mouthfuls.

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Similarly the confit duck’s rich auburn crispy skin broke away to reveal tender and juicy meat but coupled with a powerful gravy and pitted black olives, the salt was overwhelming.

Due to the style of the food and the difference between starters and main course, I am inclined to think this could have been a one-off.

I hope it was - because with its central location and warm, welcoming atmosphere, it would be a shame to see Le Restaurant de Paul fall short of the standards it is trying to offer.

Address: PAUL, 29 Bedford Street, WC2E 9ED

Tube: Covent Garden

Price: Starters from £2.95, Mains from £7.50


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