Gauthier is in a Soho townhouse, its dining area split into several rooms over multiple floors. It was previously The Lindsay House until Alexis Gauthier moved here from Roussillon in Pimlico in 2011, with his trusted sous chef Gerard Vrolle. See my previous, quite recent, review for details of the menu and wine list.
After some nibbles the meal began with a carrot tartare, which is nothing if not unusual. A mincing machine was brought to the table and carrots were duly put through it. Each diner was then presented with a series of additional ingredients to mix in: coriander, pickled ginger, shallot, avocado and tomato. Already on the plate were perilla leaves, plum and sesame. The end result was very good, the carrot itself having good flavour and the mix of ingredients working together well. This was an unusual dish but I liked it, an original take on the classic beef tartare (15/20).
Next up was seared Orkney scallop with octopus and an Asian sauce involving lime and galangal. The scallop had good inherent sweet flavour and the octopus was very tender, the spices of the sauce nicely enhancing the shellfish (16/20). This was followed by risotto with black truffle. Risotto has always been a strength of Mr Gauthier’s cooking, even back in his days cooking at Roussilon in Pimlico. The rice was high quality Acquarello and the stock had been beautifully absorbed into it, the whole dish lifted by the fragrance of the truffle to glorious overall effect (17/20). Next was a halibut dish with beurre blanc that was also superb, the fish beautifully cooked and the sauce having just enough vinegar to balance the butter (16/20). The final savoury dish was venison with pear. The acidity of the pear nicely cut through the richness of the meat and its sauce of cooking juices (15/20).
Dessert was a delicate sugar cylinder with passion fruit emulsion, the balance between the sweetness and the fruit spot on (16/20). The bill came to £150 a head with a lot more wine than a sensible person would drink. However if you had three courses and shared a modest bottle then a more typical bill would be about £80. Service was good and this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Gauthier seems to me a very underrated restaurant. Whatever the reasons Michelin may have had for taking its star away a few years ago, there is no doubt in my mind that Gauthier is cooking at strong one star level now, based on my two recent meals.