Le Secret des Rotisseurs
If you read yesterday’s post about my Thanksgiving debacle, you’ll understand my motivation for finding Thanksgiving options in London that don’t involve suitcase refrigerators and chasing down exotic birds. Because I love you and I value my sanity, I set out across London to find a stress-free “happy place” for a holiday dinner.
My first stop was Le Secret des Rôtisseurs, a family-owned, riverfront restaurant in Canary Wharf, famous for its rotisserie meats and chic Parisian vibe. Le Secret holds an enviable position in Canary Riverside, adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel and the Canary Wharf pier on Westferry Circus.
We were warmly welcomed by the staff, who escorted us to a booth near the glorious, sunny two-story windows overlooking the Thames and the iconic buildings of the City of London. I loved the comfortable atmosphere, the mixture of booths and tables and the feeling of spaciousness rare in the elbow to elbow seating in most city restaurants.
The menu is dictated by Le Secret des Rôtisseurs‘ dedication to fresh, regionally-sourced ingredients and meticulous preparation. We chose our starters from a list of three. I had the Terrine de foies de volaille with fresh farmhouse bread, my companion chose the fried camembert and endive entree’, paired with a brilliant Chablis. The clear choice for the main course was the house speciality, the rotisserie chicken, although there was a vegetarian option on the menu.
Although we didn’t experience the spectacle of watching the birds turn on the beautiful hinge and chain rôtissoires in the dining room, we thoroughly enjoyed the outcome. The bird was rolled to our table on a trolley and expertly carved into a pile of succulent, exquisitely roasted bird and presented with a side of special Le Secret sauce. In a fit of gluttony, we ordered the potatoes (roasted in the rotisserie juices…who could say no?!) and green beans.
Throughout our meal, I was impressed with Le Secret’s passionate and knowledgeable staff. They were always willing to talk about their food and wine, ready to answer questions and make recommendations. And the wine? The restaurant owners’ deep family connections to the Bordeaux region allow them to source unusual, award winning wines and thus, the wine list read like a sommelier’s fairy tale. We took advantage of his expertise and exceptionally good taste with outstanding results.
We needed a little time to breathe while waiting for dessert and coffee (don’t judge, you would too, if you saw the dessert menu) and wandered upstairs to investigate the view and wine cellar. I stood and watched the parade of boats pass by the floor-to-ceiling windows before returning to our table and pots of lush, dark chocolate sauce, a lovely plate of Madeleines and Profiteroles. As the sun dropped below the London skyline, we brushed the pastry crumbs from our fingers and decided that next time, we’d come by boat… perhaps in time to watch the lights come on over the city.
Things to Know
Le Secret des Rôtisseurs has a special Thanksgiving menu on offer from Thursday, November 28th to Sunday, December 1st. A starter, main, multiple sides and dessert for £30. Book here or call 020 7719 0950.
The restaurant offers a business lunch for £12.95 with guaranteed service within 10 minutes. Shut down your spreadsheets, my corporate refugees and enjoy lunch by the river. If you just can’t get away, Le Secret has a fabulous take-away menu.
While the rotisserie chicken is a clear favourite, the restaurant’s rotisserie works equal magic on a variety of meats. I checked the menu for this weekend and they are roasting whole rib-eye Longhorn beef from the Priory Farm in Essex. Roast suckling pig is on the menu for Sunday dinner during December.
The restaurant is approximately a 10 minute walk from the Canary Wharf Underground Station, a 5 minute walk from the DLR Westferry station and a 2 minute walk from the Canary Wharf Pier. To find transportation options and directions to Le Secret, check here.
Disclosure: I was invited to review Le Secret des Rotisseurs by LDR London Communications and received a complimentary meal at the restaurant. I accepted the invitation with the caveat I would freely write whatever and however I wished. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
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