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AA Notable Wine List 2016 - 2017
AA rating

About this rating

About the AA Rosette award
Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

An intimate French oasis in the heart of Covent Garden

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

Its billing as London’s most romantic restaurant may be in the eye of the beholder, but there’s no disputing the quality of chef Marcellin Marc’s refined modern French cooking. The romance itself revolves around Clos Maggiore’s pint-sized conservatory (complete with retractable roof for that starry night experience), which comes bedecked in fake blossom and privet hedging and a faux-flame log fire. Okay, it may not be for everyone, but the staging does seductively transport the romantically inclined from the maddening crowds of Covent Garden to a little courtyard somewhere in sunny Provence. Mirrors help create a larger-than-life illusion, while evening fairy lights add to the charm. If you can't secure a table in the coveted courtyard, or the roof is closed due to inclement weather, Clos Maggiore still has much to offer, and still feels soothingly romantic: elsewhere, the dining space comes with a cosy clubby air – think panelling, burnished floorboards, red banquettes and a narrow bar area. The polished modern French cooking comes underpinned by a classical theme with nods to Provence and passing references to the Italian name of the place and the Med. The à la carte offers a good choice, pre- and post-theatre menus are useful additions given this is Covent Garden and a host of shows are on within a short walk, while there's a set lunch option for bargain hunters, and a tasting menu if you intend sticking around (including an excellent vegetarian version). Accomplished, smartly engineered dishes deliver pretty plates of standout flavour; a meat-free opener stars creamy burrata fresh from Puglia in a vibrant nest of chargrilled tenderstem broccoli, all revved up by smoked Catalan almonds, pickled vegetables and piquant salsa verde. Otherwise, a top-draw risotto of ebly, chorizo, saffron and basil, topped-off with sautéed squid and langoustines also makes its mark. Next up, it’s hard to argue with a main course that stars oven-roasted and herb-smoked Ibérico pork loin, especially when it arrives alongside crisp bone marrow and almond croquettes, and apple and Calvados sauce. If you’re in the mood for fish, there may be a picturesque medley of roasted wild halibut, slow-cooked pollock and grilled octopus teamed with carrot and swede in a fathoms-deep shellfish bouillabaisse sauce. Expect some gilding of the lily when it comes to dessert too, with a dressed-to-thrill Greek yogurt and lemon zest mousse, yuzu curd and honeycomb, super-light lime and almond sponge, and accompanying knockout blackcurrant sorbet, or two might sign up for a caramelized Valrhona chocolate confection with burnt honey ice cream and Armagnac jelly. Staff are professional, while a star-studded and compendious wine list offers around 2,500 choices, including a mind-boggling variety of champagnes, and a Coravin system allows you to dip into some serious stuff by the glass.

Opening hours

  • Closed:: 24–25 December
  • Lunch served from:: 12
  • until : 2.30
  • Dinner served from:: 5
  • until: 11

Chef

  • Chef: Marcellin Marc

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style:: Modern French, Mediterranean
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30:: 10
  • Wines over £30:: 1900
  • Wines by the glass:: 21

Price guide

  • Starter from £: 10.80
  • Main course from £: 19.50
  • Dessert from £: 8.50
  • 3-course lunch from £: 29.50
  • 2-course dinner from £: 27.50
  • 3-course dinner from £: 32.50
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Children

  • Children welcome

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair:: 1
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats:: 70
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats:: 23
  • Off-site parking available:: On street, NCP

Additional information

  • Seats:: 70
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats:: 23

Getting here

Nearest train station

Covent Garden, Leicester Square
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Three-course lunch from£29.50**Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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