Ten years, twelve recipes: celebrating Bistrot de Luxe's Dishes of the Decade

Ten years, twelve recipes: celebrating the Galvin brothers' Dishes of the Decade

by Great British Chefs 11 December 2015

A selection of twelve best French recipes by the Galvin brothers, in celebration of ten years of Bistrot de Luxe.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

It's hard to believe that the Galvin brothers opened their first restaurant, Bistrot de Luxe, in 2005 – partly because it's been so long, but partly because the restaurant feels like it's been there forever. Loved by locals, regulars and foodie tourists alike, Bistrot de Luxe is well known for offering Michelin-quality food in a relaxed bistro style. Menus are equal parts rustic and refined; quality ingredients are transformed into elegant takes on traditional hearty French dishes such as tarte Tatin, fish soup and cassoulet.

The brothers behind the restaurants, Chris and Jeff Galvin, now have a host of other Michelin-starred restaurant to their name, but Bistrot de Luxe will always be unique in that it was the first restaurant they planned, opened and owned themselves. To honour a decade of the restaurant's success the brothers have developed a special menu commemorating their favourite dishes from the last ten years. Read on to discover more about these Dishes of the Decade, and follow our recipes to recreate them yourself.

Winter 2015

Forget the limp salads of post-Christmas diets, January's dishes were a celebration of winter comforts – perfect for when the weather is miserable and it feels like months and months until summer. Opening on a Galvin brothers signature – Lasagne of crab with beurre nantais, an exquisitely intense starter dish – January's menu was followed up with an Apple tarte Tatin with crème Normande, regarded by those in the know as the best of its kind in London. Sticky, deeply caramelised glazed apples and crisp pastry served alongside a Calvados-laced crème Normande, add this to your repertoire to make Sunday lunches feel significantly more special.

February's menu featured another classic French dessert, with the Galvin brothers' take on the traditional Crêpes Suzette – think soft crêpes generously topped with ice cream and a buttery, booze-soaked orange sauce. The savoury dish of Caramelised veal brains with capers and beurre noisette selected for this month might not sound to everyone's taste, but the thought of mounds of creamy pomme purée, tender meat and pools of beurre noisette was enough for us to consider adding offal to our Valentine's Day menu!


Seafood was one of the real highlights of their choices for spring, including a perfectly balanced dish of John Dory, cauliflower purée and sticky orange-glazed endive. Their Soupe de poisson, a Mediterranean fish soup served alongside Gruyère, croutons and a traditional rouille sauce, was the perfect choice for March, a heady, comforting stew to ward off the last of the cold weather.


With the summer menu beginning with June's rich dish of Boudin noir with glazed apples – guaranteed to bring back nostalgic pangs for holidays gone by – July and August's dishes had a suitably summery colour palette hinting at the season's bounty of fresh vegetables. Seafood continued to reign supreme, with an exquisite sea bass fillet recipe of succulent pan-fried fish sitting on a glorious vegetable soup infused with French pistou, a variation on pesto. August's dish was a striking tuna recipe, with the fish merely seared and served rare with salad, aubergine purée and marinated vegetables (escabeche).


With the beginning of game season officially heralded only a few weeks before with the Glorious Twelfth, it seemed only fitting that the Galvin brothers' autumn menu of dishes heavily featured game. September's dish of Roast grouse with game chips was a decidedly British affair, with watercress and bread sauce helping to beautifully bridge the gap between summery dishes and the comforting meals associated with autumn. Following this was their Daube of venison, an elegant French dish showcasing newly-in-season quince and chestnuts – a perfect dinner party recipe. It's also a dish with a back story: Chris Galvin put together this recipe for the first time at the last minute, after forgetting about a dish he was supposed to present at a conference of chefs.

Returning to what they do best, November's dish was a take on a bistro dish originating in the south of France, a hearty cassoulet loaded with haricot beans, Toulouse sausage, lamb shoulder, bacon and confit duck leg. If you like your dishes meat-packed this season served you well, as December's dish – the final one of the year – was a spectacular Pithivier of game made from a heady variety of game birds and veal. Served on a mound of rich carrot purée and drenched in Madeira jus, this pastry centrepiece was certainly a fitting end to twelve months of signature recipes.

The Galvin brothers' Dishes of the Decade menu might be coming to an end, but you will still find many of these dishes on menus across their restaurants – the tarte Tatin, in particular, remains a staple for fear of the reaction of the regulars were they to remove it! With these recipes, too, you can transform your own home into a high quality bistrot, with ideas enough to carry you through your own year-long celebration of French cooking.