The welcome: Waiters wearing sailor stripes bid you a friendly ‘bienvenue’, but hamming up the French theme tails off here into a gentler, understated territory.
Although closer to Euston than Central London - and thus slightly removed from the bustling apex - this only serves to make you feel all the more satisfied for having stumbled across it.
The room: The dining area is resolutely snug, with sink-straight-in velvet armchairs and deep green marble tables.
In a city where we’re constantly jostling each other for elbow room, it’s refreshing to be in a restaurant where you feel cosy, not crammed. Equally, it’s not large enough to feel truly empty, even if there’s only a couple of tables eating. The beautifully sustained balance pays off in a genuinely buzzy atmosphere.
Take note for the coming summer months: with a large outside seating area Bon Vivant is sure to soak up the footfall of passers-by, for it’s easy to imagine this as the secret of wine-sipping sun-worshippers.
The food: Well, it’s French. There are no exotic takes, mad twists, fusions or experiments. And sometimes that’s nice. For a well rendered, hearty French meal – this is your guy.
Daily specials are to be taken note of; here lie the freshest of their pickings. For a starter we shared a large plate of Raclette with charcuterie and potatoes, this a fairly new foodie phenomenon, but rest of the starter menu featured everyone’s old favourites including beef tartare, foie gras and mussels in white wine.
The same goes for the mains, where you’ll find several fish dishes, flat iron steak with truffle creamed spinach, magret du canard and tagliatelle, the last of which we enthusiastically plumped for. The pasta sauce was surprisingly light, and the dish doused in shavings of truffle and parmesan.
The daily special of short beef rib with butternut squash was delicately shot through with a faint hint of barbecue.
The Bon Vivant succeeded by avoiding overcomplicating the menu or overwhelming the diner with options. Beware for the potions are plentiful! Though price tags match, with mains sitting between £15 - £25.
Dessert is where the menu quirks up slightly, offering a deconstructed snickers bar cheesecake and Earl Grey crème brulee alongside the tarte tartin and cheeses.
Would we go again? If in the area and we'll certainly check out the bottomless brunch.
|What||Bon Vivant, French restaurant review|
|Where||75-77 Marchmont Street | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
14 Feb 17 – 30 Jun 18, 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|Website||Visit Bon Vivant's website to book a table|