What can you tell us about Carte Blanche?
It comes from one of the founders of Le Bun, Andy Taylor. Le Bun were particularly known for their burgers with French stylings and this new restaurant carries on the theme of mixing American and French cuisine. And yes, there are burgers.
Where is it?
It's taken over the old spot that was left behind by Rita's, near London Fields. And London Fields is the nearest station - but you're probably better off getting there by bus.
Where should we go for a drink before or after?
if you haven't yet checked it out, head five minutes down the road to Mare Street Market, a perfect spot for a cocktail or two, As for ourselves, we popped in for a beer at the nearby Martello Hall. That said, the cocktails at Carte Blanche were also very good. Pictured above, they both came in at £9 and carried on the French/American theme with aplomb. The Beurre Noisette Whiskey Sour is the one we'd recommend starting with if you have to choose.
Where should we sit?
The back has more space and a view of the kitchen, while the front is brighter - but there's not much space between you and the bar. Frankly, we'd suggest they get rid of the bar altogether and put more people down the front (something we've seen done to good effect in Islington's BabaBoom).
So what's on the menu?
The French/American theme is really evident on the menu. Steak Frites makes an appearance (£16.50), as does smoked short-rib Bourgogne (£22) and there's a steak tartare with beef fat crisps too (£9). The menu is split into snacks, larger plates and buns (which has the recommended hot chicken bun on it).
As for what we had on the night...
And how about vegans or vegetarians?
While the menu is quite meat and fish heavy - there are options available. The "Fucking Vegans" dish we're promised is prepared with more care than the name suggests, and we're also rather curious about the cauliflower buffalo wings too (£5).
There is dessert - but alas wasn't on when we visited. The sole option is a tarte tatin hotpocket (£6.50)
How about drinks?
There's a short French wine list (with a single "orange" option available too) - but be warned that while the food is affordably priced, most of the wines are in the £40-50 range which we do think is a little on the high side (with the house red being £36). But there are some interesting options and specials available - so it's worth asking what's new in when you visit. And if yo uwant to go really French, you can hit the Pastis too.
It's good to see the Rita's space in use again and there's real skill on show in the kitchen at Carte Blanche. Excellent burgers with a new take on French cuisine make this well worth a visit.
More about Carte Blanche
Where is it? 175 Mare St, London E8 3RH
When is it open? Wednesday - Sunday
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