Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Casse-Croûte is a relatively new French bistro, bang in the middle of that strip of foodie escapism, Bermondsey Street. Sure, you can have a very London experience in either of the opposing boozers, but Jose and Pizarro can whisk you away to Madrid, Village East to New York and Zucca to Milan. Although I always find Zucca has a New York feel too. And Village East is getting a long overdue refurb, so who knows.
But anyway, the point remains that Bermondsey Street is like being on holiday. A sophisticated, epicurean update of the pulling holiday’s ubiquitous ‘bar street’, only it’s for people with slightly more money and slightly less flesh on show. Slightly. And ironically, more actual Europeans than the Brit-infested resorts.

Casse-Croûte (might as well persist with the accent) is the cookie-cutter charming neighbourhood place of your dreams, to a fault. It vaguely reminded me of The Little Owl in that regard. The welcome and exuberance are en francais, but they were far warmer than any I’ve received in France. And yes, that includes outside of Paris.

Food? Well, we ate an awful lot. Before the starters, charcuterie sliced to order mere inches from our heads accompanied a crisp cremant. A nice menu touch, as too often (even in French places) the non-champagne option is prosecco – not to be sniffed at of course, but some beautiful fizz comes from The Loire too.

To start, a garlicky sausage and onion jam laden brioche (a posh sausage roll and no less for it). Excellent. As for the others’ dishes, to be honest I can’t actually remember as we were already rolling in the aisles.

Blame the handsome staff for turning our table of gals and gays a tad bawdy (the raging horn, in fact) or that seductively thirsty combination of food, open windows and a warm summer night – but we had a very good time.

On to mains, a huge, beautiful platter of roast lamb was shared. I had a pork dish I wasn’t familiar with but it was a massive, house-made sausage in a rich broth of cannellini beans and vegetables.

So, sausage rolls and then sausage and beans. Very cosmopolitan, me.

I can barely remember leaving, but we did share amongst other things an amazing strawberry and pistachio tart. One wine followed the other as we glugged from Loire to Rhone, and they were all delicious.

I absolutely loved Casse-Croûte. The only issue with its quality, vibes and ever-changing menu is that my every attempt to return has failed miserably. One for the little black book yes, but the secret’s out.

Casse Croute on Urbanspoon

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