What's the draw
At Bob Bob Cité, the long, long-awaited successor to the original Soho institution, executive chef Eric Chavot trades Russian-influenced dishes for classic French farmhouse cooking, as suited to a cottage in Brittany as to the slick glass and bejewelled interiors of the Leadenhall Building's new arrival. It hits the marks you’d expect from a Bob Bob Ricard restaurant in the City of London, and then some: private dining rooms, wine rooms, a level of bling that suggests no expense has been spared and, of course, the fabled 'press for champagne' button, all on a gleaming, labyrinthine floor of the Leadenhall Building.
What to drink
We kick-start our ascent, fittingly, with a glass of Dom Pérignon 2008 – there's not much we can say other than it was chilled to perfection, served with aplomb and, well, it was Dom Pérignon 2008. With mains, it was a 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet from Burgundian winemaker Olivier Leflaive, which had the flavours you'd expect from world-class Burgundy – apricot and lychee, with an almost farmy edge – but not over-oaked and with a fair bit of restraint, too.
What to eat
Food here might not be cheap, but it is both plentiful and very likeable. After diving into French bread and excellent salted butter (which seems to refill itself magically throughout the meal) we dive into escargots en persillade, six fat snails with a punchy garlic hit, verdant parsley and rich potato foam – comfort food à la française. We order veal blanquette, chunks of fall-apart veal reposing in a rich, ragoût-like stew, which is elevated by our side dishes: signature pilaf rice, deftly scented and savoury; fat, happy truffled chips; and grilled hispi, still with just enough bite and served with a grassy, tangy 'green goddess' dressing, the recipe for which we’re informed Chavot will take to his grave. There's just enough room for a pitch-perfect rum baba, all pillowy sponge and snow-white chantilly, served with a 30-year-old armagnac whose exquisite richness, fruit and spice notes and balance proves – just like the restaurant itself – that good things really are worth waiting for.
Mains from £21.50, wine from £8 by the glass. Level 3, 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB; bobbobcite.com