Latest opening: Le Pont Bistrot

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Latest opening: Le Pont Bistrot

Related tags: D&d london, Des Gunewardena, Fine dining, London, Restaurant, French cuisine

D&D London have created a casual offshoot of their riverside restaurant Le Pont de la Tour that's housed in the restaurant's former bar area.

What: ​A relaxed offshoot of high-end London restaurant Le Pont de la Tour that's inspired by classic bistros and brasseries and serves 'regional French fare at accessible prices'. Le Pont de la Tour first opened in 1991 in a 19th-century former tea warehouse, and is known for its riverside location with views of Tower Bridge. Le Pont Bistrot has taken over the original restaurant's adjoining former bar space. 

Who:​ Le Pont de la Tour is owned by high-end restaurant group D&D London, which is led by Des Gunewardena and operates more than 40 restaurants worldwide, principally in the capital. Le Pont Bistrot is being overseen by Le Pont de la Tour executive chef Tony Fleming, who trained with the likes of Richard Neat and Marco Pierre White, before going on to win a Michelin star at Angler in 2012. He has in charge of the stoves at Le Pont de la Tour since 2020.

The food: ​Fleming's menu offers a more pared back approach to French cuisine compared to the elegance of Le Pont de la Tour. Prices are also more accessibly pitched, with starters primarily hovering around the £10 mark and most mains between £15 and £25. Starters include a selection of oysters and shellfish, alongside the likes of warm Comté gougères; mussel and saffron soup; and pig’s head terrine. Mains, meanwhile, feature a duck confit with peas à la française, honey and Madeira; morel omelette with fines herbs and petit salad; and saddleback pork belly with boudin noir, white asparagus and pommes puree. There's also a range of daily specials such as rabbit parmentier on Tuesdays; ray wing au poivre on Wednesdays; and roast sirloin of Cumbrian beef on Sundays. Desserts include tarte au citron; crème caramel; and a selection of French cheeses.

Le-Pont-de-la-tour-Bistro-4347

The drink:​ Head Sommelier Michele Orbolato has created a concise wine list of principally French labels, starting from just £6 a glass. A range of 'signature' cocktails also features, including the French 75 with Tanqueray 43, Taittinger Brut and lemon juice; and a Sidecar with Hennessy VS, Cointreau and lemon juice.

The vibe: ​Occupying Le Pont de la Tour's former bar area, the 32-cover dining room is polished and spacial, with a huge marble bar at the back, plenty of light throughout, and banquette seating. A further 24 covers are available on the terrace overlooking the River Thames and Tower Bridge. A small staging area at the far end of the restaurant is used to host live music sessions on Wednesday and Friday evenings, with a variety of sets inspired by French jazz.

And another thing: ​While the recent enforcement of calorie labelling on menus in England​ has led a number of groups to shake up their food offerings, D&D doesn't appear to be letting the new legislation dictate its menus at its latest restaurant - and more power to it. Prices at Le Pont Bistrot may be competitively pitched, but the calorie counts on the some of the main dishes are in a league of their own. For example, its Saddleback pork belly with boudin noir, white asparagus and pommes puree is an eye-watering 3,054 calories. There are plenty of lower calorie options available too, though, including a number under the 1,000 calorie mark like wild mushroom omelette with fines herbs and petit salad (294 calories); cep ragout pappardelle with borlotti beans, hazelnuts and marjoram (724 calories); and ray wing au poivre with brown butter, brown shrimps, capers and lemon (718 calories).

36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
lepontdelatour.co.uk

Related topics: Openings, Restaurant

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