Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay.
029 20 490 990 / www.entrecotecafedeparis.com
Entrecote Cafe De Paris is the latest addition to the existing six eateries brought to you by BA Brandings the independent chain in Cardiff responsible for Bellinis, Signor Valentino, and Bayside Brasserie, which have been serving the region for the past 15 years.
Although this is a departure from its Italian food trademark, given the history, Entrecote should be another winning formula. “A French restaurant using seasonal and fresh market produce,” is the opening gambit. The site is on the previous Le Garcon premises, in Mermaid Quay, which has certainly been upgraded. The refit is an incredibly high spec, and with state of the art conference facilities and banqueting rooms available, Entrecote is clearly aiming for the higher end of the market.
We actually dined on the first day of opening for lunch, which is either dreadful or spectacular, and often depends on whether you go back or not. The menu is chic, as expected, and spot on. Two courses for £12.50 is very reasonable for the quality of food. With the evening offering of two courses for only £17.50, you can afford to dine here regularly. For our lunch we had hot goats’ cheese crottin, ficelle bread and artichoke puree and Parisienne style gnocchi with Mornay sauce and air-dried ham, followed by fillet of sea bass, braised fennel and sauce Vierge and grilled minute steak with pommes frites and Cafe De Paris butter. This was served with two glasses of St Marc Reserve Sauvignon, Vin de Pays D’Oc 2010.
The food, service and general feel of the place is faultless, the staff attentive without being overbearing, and it warrants a return visit if only to try the fresh mussels marinière and a glass of their finest. ANTONIA LEVAY