A well-presented French bistro and bar, La Rascasse is an ideal all-in-one spot for a romantic evening or catch-up with friends.
La Rascasse is a large, well-presented venue that is a little ‘bistro by numbers’ perhaps but benefits from its spacious setting. The exterior is pretty with warm chestnut contrasting with the dark blue of the large, bold signs. Inside, it’s an eclectic, sprawling space that includes three bars and a pleasant lounging area with banquette sofas and exposed brick, interjected by more formal dining areas where the tables are immaculate and covered in pristine white tablecloths and gleaming glassware. Otherwise, the décor is neutral with cream walls, inoffensive artwork and dark woods. In the summer, it’s worth checking out their patio area for an alfresco drink.
La Rascasse has an effortlessly upmarket appeal that fits with its neighbourhood ethos. The different facets of the venue – namely the bar and restaurant – complement each other well and you can spend the evening, drinking, dining or both without getting bored of staring at the same four walls. And so the pretty people come here to enjoy a romantic dinner at the weekend.
The full a la carte restaurant menu includes some pricier French dishes, with most priced at over £15. However, the quality of the ingredients is apparent, with dishes like fillet of sea bass, bacon and spinach wrapped monkfish and Chateabriand all available. If you’re not looking to spend that much, then the bar menu is more reasonable and doesn’t sacrifice on quality, offering everything from steak to seafood platters. If all you want is a nibble, however, then the baguettes are excellent, and cheap at around the £5 mark. A brie and tomato baguette is substantial enough to fill you up if you’re enjoying drinks with a large piece of fresh bread filled with a generous helping of creamy, rich brie, balanced by the sweetness of the tomato. It’s also presented with that French flourish that’s hard to put your finger on and you’re not made to feel like you’ve just opted for the cheapest option possible – even if that’s exactly what you’ve done.
There’s a, frankly, excellent wine menu available at La Rascasse with a focus – of course – on French bottles. Although the prices aren’t cheap – the upmarket red and white Burgundys cost £65-£280 and you won’t get a bottle of their recommended Bordeaux’s for less than £70 – they do have a good choice of wine available by the half bottle or the glass if you’re looking to save some money. They also have some cheaper full bottles, starting at under £15 and rising to just under £50 where you’ll find the few non-French bottles, including an intriguing Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Last Word
La Rascasse is a great all-rounder. Whether you want to pop in for a chilled evening over a bottle of good wine or enjoy a full three courses followed by an after-dinner aperitif, it is worth a visit if you’re in the area.