Gourmet Girls: Bellanger Restaurant

By Annette Kellow

If you are a fan of the Parisian bistro culture, then Bellanger should be at the top of your restaurant list. A traditional French brasserie and grand cafe located in the heart of Islington with relaxed informal dining, it serves dishes inspired by classics from Alsace, with both French and German influences.

And walking through the doors to try the new four-course wine tasting menu, I could not wait to give my pallet a treat. But firstly the atmosphere! True to the original Parisian brasseries, Bellanger has a je ne sais quoi specifically created by Corbin and King- the team behind The Wolseley and Brasserie Zedel. The spacious seating still has an intimate 'booth' type feel and a live piano combined with the flattering decadent lighting will whisk you straight into your own 1950's French movie. And the best bit? Your beloved pooch is always welcome! So my Yorkie dog, Dorothy, happily accompanied me and was instantly showered with affection and given some of their customised doggie biscuits.

Bellanger are the king of 'Tartes Flambees.' If your not familiar with the word they are similar to a very thin pizza with an array of delicious toppings. And so we started with a mushroom and jambon topped speciality whilst our wine selection was a Pinot Blanc 'Princess Abbes' Schlumberger and a Reisling. Thank goodness, Master of Wine Mark Bingley was there to take our taste buds through the whirlwind of wine information!

We ate a pressed duck terrine and Quiche Lorraine which came with a large swill of Pinot Kressler whilst my mains involved a lot of Gruyere ravioli! After running through the rain on a blustery winters evening it was perfectly warming and they have definitely kept all the charm of old-school glamour with the elegance of Paris.

Of course, how could I leave without sampling the Tarte Citron? A zingy classic teamed with a delicious wine custard. Bellanger, I'm not sure I'll be able to fit into my favourite dress quite so easily now but it was definitely worth every delicious bite.

Bellanger’s four-course menu is available from 1st February and is now taking bookings for their next sitting on 18th April www.bellanger.co.uk