The menu is an alluring roll call of French classics with more Russian culinary influences promised as Soutine takes root. A generous melange of wild mushrooms and soft herbs, subtle and earthy on toasted brioche, and chicken liver terrine with Sauternes jelly are exemplary. For those hankering after Russian nuances, there's beetroot terrine with horseradish cream and cured herrings, sweet mustard and cucumber. Seafood, especially scallop ceviche, is tempting, too. Coq au Riesling makes a rare London appearance with a winning velvety veloute, baby onions and mushrooms served up in a cast iron casserole. Veal Milanese is similarly generous, judged excellent even by a schnitzel devotee, and enhanced by a side order of peas à la française and hot, crisp, thin fries.
Joy of joys, there's more nostalgia for dessert. The ethereal individual Black Forest gateau with the perfect balance of cherries, chocolate and cream, will necessitate many return visits. The salted caramel eclair seduces too – more so than the overly sweet salted caramel florentines, which are surely better made with dark chocolate to offset their sweatmeat richness.
Corbin & King's restaurants, from The Wolseley to The Colbert and The Delaunay, invariably deliver glamour, elegance and good, well-priced food, besides polished service. Soutine is no exception. On our visit, there was a sophisticated bonhomerie among guests and an appreciative hum of contentment.
Soutine is the kind of elevated neighbourhood restaurant we would all embrace in our hood.
|Soutine, St John's Wood review
|Soutine , 60 St John's Wood High St, St John's Wood, , London , NW8 7SH | MAP
|St. John's Wood (underground)