Sat in Le Pont de la Tour on a Friday night, I was suddenly drifting to a memory of dining at the River Cafe in New York.
From the classic sophisticated decor, to the classic style of service and polished menu, this place reminds lots of the revered Manhattan spot.
We’d settled into a window seat looking out on to the Thames, with the place embalmed in the warm glow of candle light.
Topping off the convivial atmosphere was the gentle chatter of happy diners and jazz music tootling away.
‘We could be a Woody Allen movie,’ I thought.
From start to finish, the service was on point, with the perfect amount of friendliness and delivery at a good pace.
After we made ourselves comfortable, our waiter came to introduce us to the menu and the specials of the day.
For seafood lovers, this place is an absolute dream, with a stack of options to suit all tastes, from skate to caviar to crab.
There are also some great meaty dishes for those with a heartier appetite – think mustard glazed Lancashire pork collar, a saddle of Yorkshire venison and Gressingham duck breast to name but a few.
Feeling in a fishy mood, we decided to stick with the seafood offerings.
To start, we opted for lobster tortellino and poached Scottish langoustine in a bisque foam with caviar and roasted wild mushrooms with cep ketchup and consommé.
The dishes were served with some delicious fresh baked bread and the creamiest of butters.
Both starters were full of flavour and delicately presented, framed by a mix of classic crockery.
For mains, it was tricky to pick with so many lovely things on the list, but in the end, we opted for a portion of line caught Cornish cod with half a grilled native lobster.
Our helpful waiter suggested we order some sides, with the chilli-infused broccoli and pomme frites catching our eyes.
The cod was perfectly cooked, as was the lobster, with both pieces of flesh still succulent. Needless to say our plates were swiftly
On the drinks front, my friend went for a run of wine pairings, which were suggested by an expert female sommelier.
The Domaine de la Motte chardonnay was one of the standout picks, and perfectly complemented the cod.
Instead of wine, I opted for a cocktail from the pretty extensive menu.
I was drawn to the special martini menu, and went for ‘La Classe Normandie’, which featured a very sippable blend of vodka, martini dry vermouth, Calvados, topped with an apple fan.
Our waiter informed us, we really couldn’t leave without trying dessert. And after surveying the menu, we caved and ordered the lemon tarte with yuzu caviar and meringue.
We were very glad that we took the sweet advice, because the deconstructed lemon tarte was quite the surprise.
While the other dishes at Le Pont de la Tour had followed the classical format, this sweet treat was pretty snazzy and a modern reinterpretation of the much-loved pud.
We had great fun putting down our cutlery and using little bits of biscuit to scoop up blobs of lemon instead.
Feeling well fed and watered we wandered out of the Le Pont de la Tour along the Thames.
The evening had a filmic feel, with the moon above and the city lights twinkling in the waters below.
That’s the thing with Le Pont de la Tour, it’s a little like stepping back in time to that golden era.
This spot is a classic that hasn’t lost its shine.
Le Pont de la Tour is located at 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE, UK
To book a table visit www.lepontdelatour.co.uk or call +44 20 7403 8403