Galvin Café A Vin is the casual sister restaurant of the Michelin starred Galvin brand and sits next to La Capelle, another Michelin brand in the Galvin chain. The café is a much more casual restaurant that offers all day food and drink serving wood-fired dishes of meat and fish as well as some of the Galvin signature bistro dishes, with an emphasis on quality and service.
We came here for lunch on a sunny warm day and asked to sit on the terrace style seating on Bishops Square provides a French continental atmosphere. The service was welcoming and professional. We ordered a pitcher of tap water before choosing our lunch dishes. Inside the café has a French brasserie feel with dark wooden furniture, brass finishing’s and a hefty bar with old fashioned mirror sitting in front.
The menu had a good selection of meat, fish, salads and vegetarian dishes as well as the specials that are scribbled on the blackboard. We ordered the gooseberry and mackerel with pearl barley, the Mediterranean vegetables with chicken and the steak tartare.
By the by, this resturant has a little coffee truck parked in front of the terrace each opening that is branded by them. There is a little magazine shelf outside for those waiting for their coffees to be made to browse or take away at their will, which is a nice touch. The blackboard at the front of the opening shows off their specials as well as their live jazz nights. One does feel that customer satisfaction is a priority to them.
One does feel that service and atmosphere is a top priority to them. After a short while our food came out. The mackerel I think was the winning dish, fried fillets served with baked gooseberries and al dente pearl barley. The oily fish went incredibly well with the tart fruit and the pearl barley made this combine so well. The steak tartare was thick and chunky with a golden yolk on top. The tartare was served with a generous portion of fries in a tin pot. The Mediterranean vegetables and chicken which I ordered were delicious. The chicken was served on the bone; as a rule I do not like meat on the bone but this chicken was clearly poached and the grilled and as such fell off the bone. The vegetables rather than grilled seemed to have been glazed. Not sure how they did this to be honest but it was light, fresh and full of natural flavour. Delicious.
As we sat and made the most of the sun we discussed how busy this place gets. It was lunch time and fairly busy but hardly packed. In an evening I would not have thought of coming here although I would consider La Capelle, the sister restaurant attached for a special occasion.
Anyway we thought highly of the food, service and atmosphere although I do think the weather helped. As a result Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives this place: