Brasserie Blanc

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Best Part: The Anchovies

It was some half price vouchers that inspired our luncheon venue this week. Brasserie Blanc’s prix fixe menu had not impressed us in the past but we are always willing to give things another try. It was a good thing we did.
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Brasserie Blanc is stylish with grey walls and artistic oak chairs. The waiting staff were pleasant, smart and efficient (our hour lunch slot wasn’t a problem) The prix fixe menu which had been very dull last time we visited was very enticing. It was reasonable value too, not Costa Nostra levels but £9.95  for two courses and £12.45 for 3. I was very tempted by the squash risotto and smoked haddock omelette but our special vouchers meant we could get super value from the main menu too. The spinach and mushroom pancakes  baked a in creamy cheese sauce was a fine choice. It was a rich lunch but there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence every now and then especially when it involves cheese.

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My dining partner started with a little appetiser of Anchovies, with Anchovy Butter and Sourdough bread. This enraptured him, so much so that he didn’t notice the anchovy grease running down his chin and dripping onto his work trousers. He cut a fine figure.

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He followed this with a steak. Not very imaginative, and almost as soon as he ordered he was regretting not going for the more interesting sounding Slow-Braised Pig Cheeks. But sometimes you just fancy a steak, especially if you live with a vegetarian. When it came, it was on a plate that was so long it was verging on boardiness, but it was an adequate steak. Maybe slightly lacking in flavour or interest, but it was definitely a chunk of meat.

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In another area of restaurant quirkiness that can easily tip over into annoyance, the salt keep in an attractive little pot. Crucially, though, they provided a little spoon so there was none of the salt-pinching that we despise so much.

The toilets were a little disappointing as they lacked any character but they were clean enough. There were separate rooms for men and women so there would be no chance encounters with the opposite gender’s effluence.

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To conclude, we were very happy with Brasserie Blanc. If you want a smart but not overpriced lunch at a reliable chain restaurant this would be a good place to visit. It would be suitable for couples, ladies who lunch and older family groups. I have taken one small child here in the past but although he was welcomed it wasn’t terribly suitable for him or the other diners. The problem is that it wasn’t particularly interesting, as you might tell from our slightly lacklustre review. Sorry, we’ll go somewhere that will drive us to rhapsodies of delight or agonies of despair next time.

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In my experience Cafe Rogue does a similar thing to Brasserie Blanc and slightly better but they are aided by such a beautiful building.

The score: 6.5/10

http://brasserieblanc.com/restaurants/st-albans/

 

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