Situated in the heart of Covent Garden's Opera Quarter, Boulevard Brasserie is as an authentic Parisian brasserie as you could want this side of The Channel. Ideally located for Theatreland and the Covent Garden Opera House, this atmospheric little number has recently been taken over by Maxwell's Restaurant Group benefitting from a sympathetic refit but without losing any of its Gallic charm.
It's a great place to go on a Friday night – when we visited it was merrily buzzing without being packed to the rafters – and the fact that it's spread over three floors (the basement cellars with their banquettes are fab for large groups) with lots of mirrors means that you get a real sense of space even when it's busy. Love the little rustic touches such as the day's specials being scrawled on the glass!
The menu is typical French brasserie – with fresh ingredients well executed. Starters of baby spinach salad with feta and Calamari with tartare sauce were lovely openers whetting the appetite for the main event – in our case super generous portions of Sea bass fillet with French beans cherry toms, black olives and basil pesto and Whole tiger prawns pan-friend in garlic butter and fries on the side. We've also heard some rather exciting things about the new Sunday Social whereby diners can bring their own wine (or fizz) to enjoy with the BB's yummy Sunday roasts. You just need to quote 'Sunday Social' when booking.
But back to the event in hand. Our waiter recommended the Pinot Gris (by glass, carafe or bottle) which was a great choice with its nice buttery undertones. Sharing a pudding (Valrhona chocolate tart with cointreau mousse) was also a pretty smart idea… especially when your date doesn't have much of a sweet tooth!