Situated at 9 Knightsbridge Green, a little lane-like cut through, Chabrot occupies one of those central, but slightly tucked away spots, which I rather like. Except in the most Chic Parisien quarter’s, Bistro’s are about the food of the people, cooked well, with its roots in the tradition of the country. People watching and parading can take place another day, it’s time to relax. Great standby’s of the bistro are the brown decor, blackboards, written mirrors and photos of some archetypal France that still lingers on somewhere. Though the scent of unfiltered Gauloise is somewhat faint these days, Chabrot ticks all the boxes, and provides some bright tablecloths striped like outsize tea towels to provide a dash of colour.
We arrived early and it was not crowded, but the atmosphere was good – a lively efficient buzz, and a very attentive waitress. We shared a starter, going a little against the grain in selecting the Saumon Marine, Salade De Radis Noir. An excellent Scottish Smoked Salmon (well liked by the more discerning French) lightly dressed with a chive inspired sauce / marinade and large wafers of crunchy black raddish. A fruity white might have been more conventional, but we ordered a fresh Carafe of the Montfaucon Cote du Rhone to celebrate.
Mains of Paillard de Veau, thinly sliced veal grilled with sage and rosemary, and Petit Poulet, cooked with lemon, garlic and green piment followed. Both were very well cooked, though I have to say, when it comes to the chicken, I don’t mind the chef being a bit more heavy handed with the garlic. I guess that shows my roots a bit here – when I made my first forays into sampling rural French cooking, if garlic was in the mix subtlety was rarely the approach taken, and old habits die hard.
Cafe Gourmand finished off the day – 3 small sweets and a coffee. Just for research, and because this establishment lists many more drinks than eats, I thought I’d order a Poire William. The Maitre d’ appeared with this, and we had a quick discussion. Obviously a man who knows his stock, and who was pleased to share a little knowledge, we compared notes on the way this most interesting drink is made.
Chabrot is mid-priced – we paid £130 for two inclusive of service, but for daytime visitors they do have a very good Plat de Jour offer at around £15 per head. Well worth a look if you are in the area.
Bookings telephone: 0207 225 2238
Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner