This continues inside which is functional, and therefore not uncomfortable but still relatively spartan. And it's getting bigger too in both the front, and with the previously empty space outback being transformed into a new dining room. It's a big year then for the Giaconda Dining Room which, on opening, received strong reviews from the professional world for its high quality but low cost food.
Chef owner Paul Merrony, who trained with the Roux brothers, describes his food as 'French-ish with a couple of day trips to Italy thrown in' and there's much on there to like. The starters, which number over a dozen include some traditional (smoked salmon, beef carpaccio), some less obvious (toasted Crottin, pigs trotters) and some which serve up simply fine comfort food. In need of some comfort on the occasion of my visit, this is where I went.
If you like dairy, you will love the baked eggs with cream, cheese and tomatoes, which is great value at £6.50. Under the bubbling surface of creamy cheese there are in fact two intact egg yolks that when you cut into them ooze their yolk everywhere. It was already good before then, then it gets better. This dish however is right out of the oven and surface of the sun hot, so don't leave your second egg to the end as it carries on cooking and your next runny yolk might be a little less so. This for me was the right dish at the right time and I loved it. My friend had the crab bisque which was reported as similarly excellent, though similarly hot, and here leaving it five minutes to cool seemed a better and indeed necessary option.
The Giaconda Dining Room is a winner on every level, combining great value with great food. The menu is extensive, so everyone should be able to find something they like while everything we tasted on our visit was done well. You leave wanting to try more of the menu. While nearby Charlotte Street is perennially busy with hungry diners deciding where to eat, if you find yourself in this situation, think outside the box, or at least outside the street, and head instead to Denmark Street and The Giaconda Dining Room; I am hard pressed to believe that you would regret it.
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