Bellamy's enjoys an enviably secluded West End location on Bruton Place, isolated from the bustle of 21st Century traffic. There is an aura of calm in the oblong dining room, tastefully decorated with vintage Parisian posters and it looks and feels more like a private members club than a public eating house. This is unsurprising as the fastidious and charming patron, Gavin Rankin, cut his teeth working for the late 'King of Clubs' Mark Birley. Few people in the capital can know more (or divulge less) about the social lives of the great and the good.
Bellamy's core clientele are the well-bred, well-heeled denizens of Mayfair who like to be well-fed and well-oiled. Saville Row suits and uncultured pearls are de rigueur here but I like to drop by periodically to lower the tone. If anyone objects they're far too polite to let on.
Bellamy's menu is short, covering one side of A4 card with a similarly minimalist wine list on the reverse. Both are crafted with unerring good taste and disappointments here are exceedingly rare. This is not an address that likes to take itself or its customers outside of their comfort zones. Comfort is a word that could be applied to the cuisine at Bellamy's in that it provides simple food that you want to eat. It was an obvious choice for a Friday lunch with a discerning oenophile friend.
The waiting staff at Bellamy's are courteous and attentive having been schooled by the boss who doesn't miss much. Crisp white linen and excellent brown bread set a reassuring tone at the table. Through a mutual reluctance to commit to any single dish we asked to split two starters, a request that was obliged without hesitation. We therefore kicked-off with a superb (half slice each) of foie gras terrine and apricot compote with a glass each of Vouvray Sec 2007 from Domaine Aubert. [I should declare an interest in the wines we sampled - I'm a firm believer in combining business with pleasure.] The apple-scented Chenin Blanc married beautifully well with the rich pâté and my hard to please guest seemed contented. To follow we had whitebait served with muslin-wrapped lemon halves and a terrific coarse tartare sauce. We accompanied this with a glass of Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine 2007. The oily aromatic wine and crisp, flavoursome fish were another great partnership that vindicated our decision to share. To be fair all the starters here are good. The scrambled eggs with black truffle shavings is a personal favourite and the gravlax is legendary.
For my main course I opted for a veal burger which I requested with (exemplary) French fries rather than the suggested mashed potato, which struck a rare off note. A further surprise was that the burger lacked any kind of bun that I would argue was a trade description violation if I wasn't aware of the patron's superior menu knowledge. This is a minor gripe. The two pucks of tender meat were delicious as was an unexpected accompanying gravy and side dish of spinach. My sometimes uber critical companion opted for the Coq au Vin which looked, and was declared, to be a pleasingly faithful rendition of a much-abused classic. His only concern was the deployment of polenta pancakes as an unusual carbohydrate component for this French staple. Happily they were deemed delightful and soon disappeared. A bottle of Côte Rôtie 2004 from Champet was, we agreed, an underrated vintage from an underrated producer. Its refreshingly oak-free black fruit flavours and fine-grained tannins complimented our meaty main courses to perfection.
Feeling wonderfully sated we declined desserts but rounded off a very fine lunch with a large expresso and Minstrels® chocolates - the latter being a curious Birley signature to which one soon becomes accustomed.
Bellamy's of Bruton Place t 020 7491 2727