‘Frenchie’ was chef Greg Marchand’s (affectionate) nickname when he worked at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, and the name given to his original Parisian bistro. Its London iteration caused quite a stir when it launched on Henrietta Street back in 2016, an unmistakably Gallic venture that played with the idea of a modern French brasserie.
Its founder’s boundless enthusiasm for his work – he commutes between his restaurants in Paris and his London outpost by Eurostar – pervades this refined yet relaxed establishment. “I had always wanted to open a restaurant in London. We find the same restaurant DNA and the same vision, but with an expression of Frenchie cuisine that is resolutely London, more electric, more alive,” he says.
The restaurant is accessibly priced with a two or three course set menu and a five-course tasting menu as well as an a la carte option. Marchand’s influences are eclectic, reflective of a wide-ranging career cooking all over the world. Frenchie’s signature bacon scone with maple syrup and Cornish clotted cream is inspired by the west country; and his lamb ragu pappardelle with kalamata olives, espelette and preserved lemon recollects his time cooking at Fifteen; while foie gras apricot pressé with verbena and almonds very much has its roots in Paris.
The wine list is top notch. Marchand runs a wine bar in Paris alongside Frenchie so is able to source bins rarely seen outside France and the restaurant is also a pioneer of rustic but delicious ‘bagnums’, aka bag-in-box wines.