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Looking for the finest French restaurants? Go to London, not Paris | Jay Rayner

Not only that, but the Italian restaurants are better than Rome’s. Really, why bother going abroad? It was while I was scarfing down the blistered flat bread, laid with lardons, snails and shiny jewels of bone marrow at Maison François, that the thought came to me. It was while I was forking away their mustardy celeriac remoulade, with huge, crunchy caper berries on the side, that the thought hardened. It felt subversive and dangerous; the sort of thing that can get you bawled out by electronic baying mobs if you give it voice. And yet I held the thought to be demonstrably true. Baying mobs be damned. It should be said. So here goes: it’s easier to find terrific French food in London than it is in Paris.Maison François in St James’s, which does a fabulous line in leeks vinaigrette and has a killer dessert trolley complete with a perfect paris-brest, is only part of the story. There’s the glorious Brasserie Zédel with its steak haché and choucroute. There’s the achingly indulgent Otto’s with its old-school lobster soufflé, steak tartare and canard à la presse. There’s Pique Nique and L’Escargot and Mon Plaisir. The list goes on. Continue reading…