When the famous New York brasserie Balthazar graced London with its presence, I was very giddy indeed. As a kipper in fact. We had intended going to the Boulangerie the last time we were in London, but didn't quite get round to it. I'll be honest with you, it was mainly down to over indulgence and general gluttony. So this time I made a booking in the restaurant next door - it was a date.
Although Balthazar hails from New York, their style is very much French inspired brasserie food, with emphasis on fresh produce, home baked cakes and bread, and decadent displays of fruit and shellfish. The Boulangerie is just next door, and serves the same home baked goodies for you to take away.
We decided to go for breakfast; a simple menu which reminded me of that beautiful meal we had at Bouchon in Las Vegas. Since Vegas is a bit of a trek from Horwich, I was hoping that Balthazar may scratch an overdue itch.
The large dining room is bathed in a gold light which reflects of the large mirrors on the walls. This also explains why some of my photos have a bit of a tan...
We started with coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Very refreshing. We had done the tasting menu at the Ledbury the night before, so were in dire need of a pick me up.
We both ordered tactically. We had a big day of food related fun ahead of us, and didn't want to burn out.
Pancakes with cinnamon apples: These were spectacular. The pancakes were soft and actually quite light, and came with a jug of maple syrup and sweet cinnamon soaked apples. They don't look very pretty, but tasted amazingly good.
This has to be one of my favourite breakfasts in London. It's not quite as good as Thomas Keller's Bouchon, but it's the closest thing I have found so far. Elegant and understated, these dishes were all about flavour. Next time I'm heading to the Boulangerie for cake...