A review of L’Art du Fromage: paradise for cheese lovers
With the autumn upon us and winter drawing ever closer, many have started to think about the mountains and skiing. On Facebook this week, I noticed a post by a friend who asked: “Who is keen to start planning a skiing holiday?” and it got me thinking about a restaurant I visited earlier this year, L’Art du Fromage in Langton Street, Chelsea.
Owned and run by a friendly and knowledgeable cheese loving sort named Julien Ledogar, this small two floor restaurant serves just the sort of fare you’d find in Chamonix, Meribel or Samoens. With the feel of a rustic ski lodge, L’Art du Fromage is situated next to the popular old school Italian La Famiglia and opened as the “UK’s first speciality cheese restaurant” in 2010.
Ledogar, who grew up in a small village in the Alsace region of France, has focused both his food and wine offerings on small regional producers. He changes his menu four times per year and purchases primarily French and Swiss cheeses from one supplier who delivers weekly from Lyon.
To start, we opted for a deep fried Brie de Meaux in a red berry coulis (£8.50) and some thinly sliced Bayonne ham with provolone cheese (£8). Both were delicious and continuing to the main course, it made sense to attempt to conquer the a mountain sized £25 fondue bourguignonne which came with 300g of raw filet beef, four sauces, green salad and French fries. We also tried the Kirsch flambéed savoyarde fondue (£17) which was, inevitably, exceptionally filling.
For the final course, L’Art du Fromage’s most unusual dish stood out – cheese ice cream. Made by a Parisian company and priced at £9 for a selection of cream cheese, goat cheese and Roquefort, though the first two were balanced and enjoyable, the third was perhaps a little overwhelming and gritty.
Wines at L’Art du Fromage range in price from £20 to £77 per bottle and the list naturally includes mountain wines. Artisan beers also feature and amongst the more unusual available on the night we visited was Mont-Blanc la Verte au Génépi – a herbal “green beer” made by a producer Ledogar considers “the best brewhouse in the world”.
L’Art du Fromage is certainly not a place for turophobes but if you’re already hankering after the slopes, this indeed is just the place to sit and plot your next outing on the piste.
L’Art du Fromage, 1a Langton Street, London, SW10 0JL. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7352 2759.
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