As I embarked on an evening with the illustrious Fitzrovia Dining Society, I had no idea what to expect. Their recent soiree led us to the enigmatic Madame Guillotine, a French eatery tucked away on Great Portland Street. It’s not every day one dines at a restaurant with such a… unique name.
Upon entering Madame Guillotine, I was immediately transported to the grandeur of 18th-century France, albeit with a slightly ominous twist. The decor was a delightful mix of decadence and danger, complete with crimson curtains, chandeliers that could have graced Versailles, and, of course, a replica guillotine in the corner for that extra dose of macabre ambiance.
Our culinary journey began with the "Revolutionary Amuse-Bouche," a tiny portion of foie gras presented on a miniature guillotine-shaped platter. As I hesitantly took my first bite, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a subtle commentary on culinary excess. But one cannot deny the exquisite taste; it was like velvet on the palate.
The "Marie Antoinette’s Lost Lettuce" salad came next. Presented under a glass cloche, it was described as "lettuce that lost its head." The greens, freshly beheaded and dressed with a decadent champagne vinaigrette, were surprisingly delicious.
For the main course, I ordered the "Guillotine-Grilled Duck à l’Orange." The dish arrived with theatrical flair as the server ceremoniously sliced the duck breast with a miniature guillotine blade, all while recounting tales of revolutionary France. The flavors, though, were far from revolutionary – the succulent duck and sweet orange sauce were a classic French delight.
The "Tarte de la Terreur" dessert was a playful nod to history, with a chocolate guillotine blade plunging into a rich, blood-orange coulis, accompanied by a side of creamy vanilla ice cream. It was as tasty as it was dramatic.
The wine list was extensive, featuring a carefully curated selection of French wines, and, surprisingly, not a single bottle with a "heads will roll" pun.
However, what made the evening truly unforgettable was the entertainment. Between courses, we were treated to a reenactment of the French Revolution, complete with costumed actors and a surprise beheading of a cake. It was a spectacle that had our dinner party both amused and bewildered.
In conclusion, Madame Guillotine is a restaurant experience like no other. The combination of fine French cuisine, historical drama, and the ever-present guillotine-themed decor creates an unforgettable evening. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an eccentric dining adventure, Madame Guillotine on Great Portland Street is the place to be. Just be sure to keep your head – and your dessert – in check.