Club Gascon is a restaurant where detail and timing is key and, accordingly, the service, food, wines and atmosphere create a fantastic experience.
There are a few things which you could pick fault with – I don’t love the layout of the narrow dining room, and on the evening we visited there was a very large group which dominated it; and as much as I am a Francophile there were moments when my GCSE French failed me and I couldn’t quite decipher the accents of the staff.
But it didn’t really matter because anything they talked about, served us, and topped up at Club Gascon was pretty much perfect.
The Menu changes every 8-12 weeks and I’d always suggest you go for Le Marché which is a 6 course tasting menu drawing inspiration from the à la carte ‘topics’: Le Route du Sel; Le Potager; Le Canard; L’Oceane and Les Paturages.
This is a snip at a two-course lunch option for £25, and £60 for the 6 course menu at dinner. A menu this confident, balanced and understated can only have come from a Chef with great skill and experience and having tasted it, I can confirm eating Pascal Aussignac’s food is a pleasure from start to finish.
Hailing from the South West of France, the produce that surrounded him in his early years is treated with great skill and care on the menu here and Fois Gras, Duck, and fine Charcuterie all get star treatment.
To this day, all the ingredients he cooks with are sourced from small artisan producers in the South West of France.
There are some gutsy flavours on show here but my highlights demonstrated the lightest of touches including the lightest courgette flower I’ve ever tried and a pigeon dish that recalibrated my understanding of its delicate taste and texture.
The wine list generously draws from, no surprises, the South West, Languedoc, Roussillon and Bordeaux – absolutely no New World wine to be found here and it really works to have such a localised list which matches the terroirs of the menu.
It is worth noting too that the restaurant is part of a successful group of London restaurants, including Cigalon on Chancery Lane, all sharing a love of genuine and authentic French ingredients and styles.
We’re guilty of chasing the next new restaurant on London’s dining scene but Club Gascon is a classic, and one we need to treasure.
Read our guide to the best restaurants in Clerkenwell.