Chez Léon, famous for its moules frites opens the doors to their first UK establishment in January 2012 near West End’s Cambridge Circus. The menu consists of eleven variations of mussel dishes served Léon style in large cocottes or au gratin; traditional Marinière is favored to the more unusual Ardennaise, with white wine, crème fraiche, smoked bacon and mushrooms, Madras in a light curry sauce and Riviera in a tomato sauce with garlic, parsley and gruyère cheese. The restaurant also stocks its own range of micro-brewed cloudy beers and lagers.
The first Chez Léon opened on Rue de Bouchers at the heart of Brussels in 1893 and instantly became the gourmand’s favourite for its trademark mussel dishes, the recipe for which continues to be passed on from generation to generation. One century later, in 1989, the first “Léon” restaurant opened its doors in Paris, specialising, as is right, in serving these renowned traditional dishes. After more than 100 years in the business, the company still remains family owned and run. While nowadays it’s part of a nine-strong group in Belgium with 67 franchises in France, the original menu remains practically intact.
The new establishment in London, opening in early 2012 will be able to seat 220 people, with 12 bar covers and tables outside in the warmer months. The interior represents a contemporary take on the Belgian original with sleek black and brick red leather banquets, dark wood chairs, white and black tiled walls and parquet wooden floors. There are also two art walls commissioned from urban artist Fin DAC.
The restaurant opens in January 2012 at 24 Cambridge Circus, WC2E 8AA; find out more get to know the menu HERE