More good news for women at the very highest end of the restaurant sector, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London's Mayfair has been awarded three Michelin stars.
Following a 2 month closure at the end of 2019, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught reopened with a more contemporary look, while also cleverly managing to retain its traditional elegance.
The cooking, too, has moved on a level, with Head Chef Marco Zampese overseeing a passionate, highly skilled kitchen team who prepare a 3-course set priced lunch and a 5 or 7-course tasting menu at dinner, with upgrades offered at a supplement.
The cooking is influenced by Chef Patron Hélène Darroze’s homeland, with refined French-based dishes centred on one superb main ingredient, then enhanced with subtle international touches.
Dishes are understated and elegant with an air of sophistication but also have an underlying complexity and great depth of flavour. Flavours marry together with consummate ease and there’s intense attention to detail in the skilful execution.
The wine list is a tome of beauty – a roll-call of the finest producers rooted in the classic regions, with some exceptional producers’ collections. Real effort has been put into the international beer, sake and cocktail selections too.
For the ultimate experience, oenophiles can book the private room beside the wine cellar, while foodies can dine at the chef’s table in front of the pass.
Here are some of the Michelin Inspectors’ favourite dishes:
Wild sea bass, champignon, walnut, lardo di Colonnata & Douglas pine
Slices of lightly cured sea bass assembled in a delicate mille feuille of chestnut mushrooms and lardo – the richness of the mushrooms and the saltiness of the lardo perfectly complement the fish. On the side, walnut purée, mushroom broth and Douglas pine provide a delicious accompaniment and add depth of flavour.
Westcombe ricotta, Ardi Gasna, voatsiperifery pepper & onion consommé
Handmade agnolotti pasta with strands of truffle running through it and a contrastingly soft, creamy filling. The sweetness of the onions – and hints of acidity from some pickling – offset the ricotta and Ardi Gasna cheeses, while the onion consommé adds intensity. The contrasting textures and tastes make this a delicious dish.
– Armagnac Darroze with pineapple, passion fruit, Tahitian vanilla and coconut sugar Chantilly
A rich, elaborately presented dish, where the golden baba is sliced at the table and then covered with a choice from three different vintages of Armagnac aged by Hélène’s brother Marc. The baba is beautifully light in texture and the Chantilly cream’s luxurious flavour works perfectly with the liquor. The passion fruit and the roasted pineapple add both a light, fruity flavour and a subtle acidity.