The weather was so wet on Thursday, I felt we were in the depths of winter rather than the middle of August….another wonderful English summer! I could have easily stayed in and watched reruns of Gossip Girl however I had a table reserved at The Only Running Footman and I had been looking forward to it all week.
I had been here for drinks before as it was my brother's old local when he worked in nearby Berkeley Square and as I arrived I could see it hadn't changed in the 7 years since I had last been, the pub was absolutely heaving! Ladies - I reckon it would be a great place to meet men…..I was however meeting my husband.
Downstairs is the pub and then upstairs is a smart but cosy dining room. We were shown to our table and ordered a drink while we perused the menu. I was starving so I was very grateful for the freshly baked bread to nibble on.
There was so much I wanted to order and I found it hard to decide. For starter I wanted the crispy squid or the risotto Milanese or the falafel with homemade hummus but I ended up ordering Dorset crab with toast, broad beans, pea shoots and lemon dressing. For main I was torn between the pan fried sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke puree, girolles, wilted spinach and sauce vierge or the shepherd's pie but I then chose the Chateaubriand to share with Pascal which came with fries, mixed herb salads, roast tomatoes, mushrooms and a green peppercorn sauce.
The food was beautifully presented and I was delighted with my crab when it arrived. It tasted so fresh and light and the broad beans were a perfect addition - I don't know why I don't have them more often, they are delicious.
Pascal chose the burrata with heritage tomatoes, asparagus and truffle dressing and I will admit, I had slight food envy when his arrived as it smelt amazing….I love truffles. This starter was exceptionally good, the burrata was soft and creamy and went really well with the tomatoes, asparagus and of course the truffle dressing. It was so much more special than a usual tomato and burrata salad.
As I had already checked out the pudding menu and knew exactly what I was going to order, I was thinking I should have fish as a main so I wasn't too full however Pascal and I were too tempted by the Chateaubriand and when it arrived we knew we had made the right choice.
We had it served rare and the meat was excellent - cooked to perfection (even my fussy french husband was impressed). I thought it was just as good, if not better than the well known steak restaurants around London but much more reasonably priced plus we loved the sides and sauce too. Even the simple mushroom was a delight and I couldn't stop picking at the fries even though I was full to the brim.
I could not resist the ferrero rocher cheesecake, it was rich, chocolatey and decadent and worth every single calorie. I am a huge fan of the Cheesecake Factory in the States and wish more restaurants served such enticing cheesecake flavours.
Wow - what a meal! Service was friendly and efficient - nothing was too much trouble for the staff and judging by the full restaurant we weren't the only people impressed by the Only Running Footman.
If you are in the Mayfair area, ignore the usual ostentatious places (there are many) and head for the Only Running Footman for breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper or even just a drink - it is a gem and not to be missed.
(The restaurant also has 2 private dining rooms).
The Only Running Footman
5 Charles Street,
Tel: 020 7499 2988