Chez Elle is a welcome new addition to the culinary landscape of Brick Lane. The south end of Brick Lane has been waning lately, with the surplus of curry restaurants suffering in the wake of the recent recession. One upside to this is that a few new cafes, bars and restaurants have popped up, diversifying the choice.
Chez Elle is a cute little space with quirky French themed interiors, pastel colours, and little bird cage light fixtures. The Chair we sit in looks as if it has been plucked straight off the lawn of a posh country house. There was French Jazz meandering in the background setting the scene for a quiet tasty meal with a moody glass of red wine.
I find French food can be very rich and buttery, so we decided to keep things light. The prices were also not overly expensive, but not at the cheap end of the scale either, so we kept it simple. We had traditional garlicky escargot, which was very nice with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. We got free bread, which is always nice, especially when the bread is fresh and satisfying. We also had one of our favourites, mussels and chips. This had garlic, white wine sauce and did not disappoint. The mussels seemed fresh and the triple cooked chips were both soggy and crunchy and reminded me of the chips my mother would cook for my brother and I as kids.
The drinks we had were a nice glass of red, which the waiter suggested. I love to take the suggestions of waiters. My theory is that they work there, and hopefully they should know what the top choices are. I don't always take their suggestions but I find never hurts to ask. It also establishes a bit more of connection with your waiter, lets them know that you value their opinion. My girlfriend is delightfully wilful and decided that she wanted a Martini, which although was served in entirely the wrong type of glass, was nicely mixed.