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Elena's L'Etoile (Restaurant)

Picture of Elena's L'Etoile in Fitzrovia, London

30 Charlotte St, Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2NG
Cuisine: French Average Price: £45
Tel: 020 7636 7189 | Email to Elena's L'Etoile | Transport: Goodge Street | Write review

Elena's L'Etoile Review

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Does he have a beard? Does he wear glasses? Does he look like someone you'd be alarmed to see hanging around outside a primary school? All these questions will be familiar to anyone who has ever played the board game Guess Who - or indeed anyone who has ever eaten at Fitzrovia's Elena's L'Etoile, its restaurant equivalent.

Maybe that's not true, but I just can't imagine someone visiting this French bistro with walls festooned with cheaply-framed pictures of their celebrity customers, without feeling the urge for a game. The rules are simple. Select one of the photos from the wall then give your companion clues from which to guess the identity of said celeb. 'They're an Oscar winning actress' say, or 'a soap star more recently seen encouraging you to consolidate your debts into one easy monthly payment.'

You see, Elena's is big on equal opportunities for the famous. The likes of Dame Judi Dench and Sean Connery sit contently alongside an entire wall of EastEnders actors past and present. Precious wall space is even made for Alan Fletcher who plays Dr Karl Kennedy in Neighbours, plus his fictional wife Susan and another character from the soap which even I couldn't identify, even though that was totally my era. It's a veritable 'who's who' with a fair few 'who's he?' thrown in for good measure. I was half tempted to tell them that I played a nurse on Holby City to see if they'd stick my face up there, gurning out between Cliff Richard and Pauline Quirke.

Silliness aside, Elena's is actually a very grown up restaurant. Apart from the photos, the decor is, depending on your outlook, reminiscent of a charming bygone era, or just plain shabby. The walls are nicotine yellow, there are exposed power sockets, and clunky air-con units. My nan would say that the art deco lamps and huge bevelled glass mirrors could do with a good going over with a damp cloth. Yet somehow this very 'meh', very French style of interior design, once combined with the red velvet chairs, starched table clothes and gleaming silverware feels enchanted with an old school glamour.

Anyway, Elena's has earned the right to look a bit tatty round the edges. Open for over 100 years, it's a legend of London restaurant scene and with all the shiny-shiny new joints that must have come and gone around it on Charlotte Street over the years, is it any wonder that Elena's has jealously guarded the cosy faded lustre that has contributed to it's staying power? But of course a few art deco lamps and the eyes of hundreds of actors bearing down on you is not enough to make a restaurant so well-loved.

Amongst London foodies the eponymous maitre d' Elena Salvoni is as famous as the stars that she's plastered her walls with. More so. Despite turning 90 this month she still works in the dining room, after an epic career in Soho eateries stretching back to the 1940s. Everyone (Stephen Fry, EastEnders' Pat Beale-Wicks-Butcher-Evans, and now me...) knows Elena's name is the mark of true quality.

The food here is French cuisine at it's very best, at once classic with modern and well-executed twists. My starter of three blini had uncommonly thick-cut smoked salmon and was exceptional in it's simplicity. My guest's honey and pepper roasted duck was proclaimed rich and soft, and the apple tart with calvados, was 'the best I've ever tasted'.

The service was excellent, and noticing that I looked like someone who'd very recently edged closer to 30, the kitchen piped 'happy birthday' around my thick chocolate truffle tart in yet more chocolate. Let me tell you, I felt special, like, say, Twiggy. Or Eamonn Holmes.

It's not cheap with most of the main courses nudging £20, but even if you haven't got the earning power of Melvyn Bragg or that Mavis woman from Corrie in the 90s, you should still go along and treat yourself. I guarantee, it will be a treat.

It's just like I always say. If it's OK by Alan Fletcher who plays Dr Karl Kennedy in Neighbours, then it's OK by me.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Elena's L'Etoile

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Elena's L'Etoile.

“I booked a table at Elena's Letoile on a Friday evening. We were four girls and have to say what a lovely restaurant. Warm welcome as we entered. Staff was really attentive and the service was good as well. The food was really good and well presented. Would definitely go back and recommend.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Rene, London (8 years 26 days ago)

“Came here for an anniversary meal and it's very high quality but relaxed too so you're not worrying about using the wrong fork! All I'd say is that the service is very quick. We had three courses in 90 minutes when we were there. Is that normal?!! But lovely place all the same.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ollie A, Kentish Town (8 years 5 months 19 days ago)

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Food

Elena's offers delicious, unrivalled French & Italian cuisine. The menu incorporates popular, mouth watering dishes, starters of parfait chicken liver and foie gras with Armagnac and main dishes of grilled entrecote with sauce bearnaise and chips.

Updated 21/10/2010

Drinks

Elena's have a carefully crafted cellar that combines vintage and new world wines. A large selection of the wines are served by the glass.

Updated 13/01/2007

Elena's L'Etoile Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
6:00pm - 10:30pm
Friday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
6:00pm - 10:30pm
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
10:30pm - 10:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
6:00pm - 10:30pm
Sunday: Closed
Thursday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
6:00pm - 10:30pm
   

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: French
  • Average Price: £45
  • Dress Code: Smart/Casual
  • Group: Corus Hotels

Special offers, discounts and deals at Elena's L'Etoile

Book this special offer now - fast, free and confirmed!

2-course lunch £12.95

Type: Eat out from £10 to £20, Fixed price Menu, Lunch, Merchant Platform Generated Special Offer

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Events and other great things going on at Elena's L'Etoile

You’ll find classic French cooking and the ambience of a bustling Parisian bistro at Elena’s Etoile. This Charlotte Street restaurant has long been a favourite of film and television people – as the vast array of signed photographs along the walls testifies

Updated 21/10/2010

Elena's L'Etoile Hire Details

Elena's also boasts four beutifully appointed private salons in classical French style. They are ideal for smaller events and for larger groups the whole venue is available. Groups from 6 to 140 people can be catered for.

Updated 13/01/2007

Name: Elenas Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 55 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 18
Notes: Elena's room s often likened to eating in your own French Chateau dining room. This beautiful room features paintings by the late Gylnn Boyd Hart.
Name: Glass Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 55 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 25
Notes: The semi private room located at the rear of the main restaurant is ideal for parties who still want to feel apart of the buzz of Elena's.
Name: The Lounge Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 55 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 16
Notes: The Lounge room features original high polished wooden floors and Art-Deco lighting all under the watchful eye of the William Roberts print 'The Vortictics' painted in 1915
Name: The Oscar Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 55 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 34
Notes: The Oscar Room opened in 1998 with a private dinner for the British winners of an Oscar award. With its memorabilia, private foyer and bar.
Name: The Private Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 55 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 9
Notes: The private room may be more suited for intimate dining and meetings, however it certainly does not lack any character.

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Venue ID: 1927

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