Oooo La La – L’Eglise – Hove

Tis true…………I do need to make more time to write about food and my adventures with this lovely matter. However I shall hold my hands up; I am not good at routine or self motivation and as such adopt a chaotic approach with a perfectionist desire. Not a great combination but I am learning to accept that’s just the way I am. How these blog posts are to work out I am not sure but when I have a delicious meal I feel I should get something down and share the love.

L’Eglise the French restaurant in Hove is to become one of my favourites for sure. It is run by husband and wife Julia and Jean-Christophe, and oh my they have created a gorgeous dining space that serves simple PERFECTLY cooked dishes. I visited last Sunday on a whim with my Maman.  I have only a couple of photos to share but the food needs to be tasted if one is to appreciate this fine dinery.

I am not a massive fan of massively rich food so French can be a little too much however the food at J & J’s manages to achieve incredible depth of flavour whilst allowing the ingredients to star.

To kick us into the sprit,  St Germain, an incredible elderflower alcoholic liqueur with champagne, HELLO. This delicious alcohol-pop inside the most beautiful Art Deco bottle really worth procuring.  http://www.stgermain.fr

We shared a board of charcuterie, all of which were the best of the best. Served alongside; a ramekin of cornichons and baby mustard silver skin onions. Cornichons remind me so much of childhood, Dad always came back with car loads of these and Dijon mustard from family holidays. Custom; nothing to declare, wine and fags; no, pickled produce yes. An odd man in many ways!

For the main event; I had onglet, a classic French bistro and brassiere steak. In this country, we tend not to use it as a steak cut, preferring to use something less flavoursome.  The cut come from around the skirt and hangs near the kidneys thus it has a deep taste and served rare is as tender as any fillet but with a 1000 times more flavour. This was served with a salty Paris butter and OMG duck fat chips to kill for. Jean mentioned that they tried a variety of potatoes before the penultimate chip was created. Mother ate duck confit, woah crisp, soft, deep with a red cabbage perfectly perked and a rich glossy sauce, just enough to moistened the meat. Green beans, bang on, with a little diced buttery onion. A red, recommended, a meaty boozy lovely wine with some connection to Jean’s sister, at this stage of the meal I felt a connection to her myself!

Cheese finished us off; 4 well chosen slices, perfect temperature, with ooze and flavour, another glass of recommended wine; food matching ambrosial heaven.  Puddings; all the classics, creme brulee, almond tart and floating islands; saved for another visit.

A corny phrase I know: Hidden Gem, but this really is. Cooking of this standard and integrity is sadly something that is sorely missing in this country, we seem to favour a chain over amazing little independents  like L’Elgise.  Wonderfully sourced produce cooked to perfection, served by a small team who as the charming waitress said ‘are like a family’. You are made to feel so welcome and relaxed, I know for sure I shall happily eat here alone when my own family have buggered off for the day.  There is everything to love about this restaurant, I have already booked again for Mothers day, should I see you, it’s also my birthday, mines a St Germain champagne cocktail.

L’Eglise – 196 Church Road, Hove. 01273 220868 – http://www.legliserestaurant.co.uk/

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