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Tuttons of Covent Garden

Richard D. Carreño and his guests enjoyed themselves at this popular Covent Garden Brasserie

9th November 2007 - Tuttons Covent Garden - Top marks
After "Hairspray" at the Shaftsbury,we ended the evening with a memorable meal at Tuttons. We didn't know the area and just liked the look of the restaurant. We were greeted, waited at the friendly bar and then had our meal --- Beautiful fish course. The Staff made dining a pleasure.

I have recommended the restaurant to Canadian friends visiting London later this month

Thank you

Sabina Thomson

When people think of Covent Garden, Tuttons is never far from their mind. "It's the kind of place that everyone seems to know even if they have never actually been here," says Louise Barclay, Tuttons' manager. These days more and more people are getting to sample Tuttons' fare - much to their delight.

Tuttons' success parallels Covent Garden's explosion as one of London's top tourist sites. This came after the old Covent Garden's conversion about twenty years ago from its historic role as a flower, fruit and vegetable market. Tuttons was there from the beginning. The relaxed, brasserie-style dining was compatible with the hip new Covent Garden (now converted to a shopping mall) and still just a stone's throw from the even hipper shopping in Neal Street as well as the more traditional theatre-going in the nearby theatre district.

The night we visited, the restaurant was filling up and we grabbed a table overlooking an enclosed conservatory. Inside the restaurant one hundred diners can be served. The conservatory seats another forty and is particularly popular in the summer when opera is featured on big outdoor screens erected across the piazza at the Royal Opera House. (The Opera House is now expanding and the restaurant is bracing itself for even more 'passing trade' when the new theatre opens.)

Tuttons also covers the basics from breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea to dinner. Prices are very moderate. A continental breakfast is £3.90 and tea is also £3.90. Lunch and dinner are served from an 'all-day menu' and starters are about £4 with main courses from £8.50 - penne with mushrooms; shredded chicken; bacon and chilli to £12.50 -grilled sirloin steak with chips.

One of our starters, a delightful stilton cheese, walnut tart, salad combination (£3.90) came from the main menu. We were equally pleased with one of the daily specials from the blackboard, a mound of plump mussels, also at £3.90.

Our main courses from the menu included a tender grilled lamb steak (£11.20) and a tasty roasted chicken with smoked bacon (£9.50). Our third main course, pork escalope, was one of three blackboard specials. For £8.90 this course, accompanied with mushrooms and a parsnip purée, was both delectable and economical.

Making our selections was tough: the other blackboard specials seemed almost as appealing - grilled tuna at £10.50 and roasted guinea fowl at £9.90.

We drank a crisp Pouilly Fumé at £15.50, which came from an equally reasonable list of nearly thirty options.

For many diners, two courses of Tuttons' generous servings will be enough. Our research required that we plough on - alas, the lot of the restaurant reviewer - to sample the desserts. Of course, no one was feeling sorry for us as we cleaned out plates of such delectables as chocolate truffle cake with a mocca sauce (£4.70), a cheesecake with a raspberry coulis (£3.90) and a lemon tart (also £3.90).

Because of its West End location, Tuttons also caters to theatre-goers with a pre and post-theatre menu at a fixed price of £10.90 for two courses. Private parties of up to fifty people can be accomodated in cellar vaults. Covent Garden continues to boom so you'd be wise to book ahead at Tuttons, especially during the summer when the outside is one of the Market's most popular spots.

Tuttons, 11-12 Russell Street, Covent Garden WC2. Tel: 020 7836 4141
Open Sunday to Thursday from 9.30am to 11.30pm. Friday and Saturday from 9.30am to midnight. All major Credit Cards.

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