- Great food
May 11, 2018
Low-lit and deliciously Francophile in atmosphere, Blanchette is a convivial and charming space on Soho’s D’Arblay Street with an agreeably European feel. Run by a trio of brothers with the input of the Salt Yard group, the mix of tiled walls, bare-brick and mismatched wooden tables and chairs is stylish yet also cosy. There’s a narrow bar area at the front at which you can perch (as we did) and larger tables at the back of the room. The food menu features a good array of French charcuterie, cheeses, and nibbles as well as a selection of small plates – divided into meat, fish and veggie options – ideal for sharing. The all-French wine list is carefully curated and contains a number of natural and biodynamic options as well as a good range available by the glass and the carafe. We enjoyed a light, fruity Beaujolais, served chilled, and a ripe, rich Malbec. Prices start around the £20 for a bottle and there’s a small range of cocktails available too if you fancy an aperitif: From the cheeses we were taken with a Corsican ewe’s milk number and a serving of Saucisse Seche was generous for the £4 price tag. Leeks vinaigrette provided a nice fresh counterpoint to the richer things and their frites come served with an excellent Béarnaise. From the list of desserts, a rice pudding with salted caramel and gingerbread crumbs was an unexpected hit and all but demanded to be accompanied by a glass of honeyed Monbazillac. As is often the case with small plate dining, your bill can creep up but prices are pretty reasonable in comparison to bars doing similar things and Blanchette hits all the right spots in terms of atmosphere. The staff are friendly and enthusiastic but those spindly wooden bar stools are a tad precarious, even before the wine has started to flow.