The Frenchie has arrived in London, or more precisely, the Frenchie is back in London. He spent nearly a decade of his formative chef years cooking at The Savoy Grill, Mandarin Oriental and became head chef of Fifteen, where – as gastronomic folklore has it – Jamie Oliver gave him his nickname. After a year in Gramercy Tavern NYC, Greg and his wife Marie headed back to Paris to give birth to his son and his 26 seater bistro in 2009. And so the Frenchie legend began. Seven years on, Rue de Nil is home to Marchand’s bistro, wine bar and a sandwich/coffee spot.
I am one of those totally romanced by bistronomy; La Regalade, Le Comptoir, Yam’tcha, Le Chateaubriand/Dauphin, Frenchie, I ticked some off that list but never managed a table at Greg’s bistro. It continues to amaze me even though I think this style of liberated expression has certainly inspired a bunch of restaurants over here.
We’ve got our fair share of modern casuals including Antidote (and if you are a Chris Johns Fan, then Newman Arms), Upstairs (sadly defunct), Arbutus/Wild Honey and more recently Portland, Lyles, Ninth, all of which could qualify for a few inches in Le Fooding. If it ever did a London guide.