Le Mercury, N1 1QY
This small, family run like restaurant serves delicious French cuisine at a very reasonable price. You pay for a set price, (around £10 I think) and you get the choice of any anything from the menu in a 3 course meal. Food tastes great and there's a nice candle-lit atmosphere. I highly recommend the salmon and avocado for appetizer, lamb chop for main, and creme brulee for dessert.
The £10 offer didn't seem to be on the night we went (a Friday), but the prices are definitely good. All starters and desserts are £4, and all mains are £6; (apart from a few specials, such as the seafood plate at around a tenner). Paul had crab salad followed by grilled chicken in some kind of creamy sauce (peppercorn?) and I had a very generous portion of gravadlax followed by some lovely sauteed asparagus spears served with a Puy lentil salsa. We shared a portion of vegetables — lovely creamy potatoes, plus green beans and carrots (£1.95), and also shared the cheese plate (Brie, something mild and creamy, blue stilton, celery sticks, plenty of biscuits) afterwards (cheese a little too cold).
The bill for two came to just under £40 excluding service and including a bottle of wine and a glass of port. Very good value, and very good atmosphere; civilised without being snobbish. Our starters arrived amazingly fast, but we didn't feel rushed at any point, even when the place (which is actually quite small) filled up later in the evening. Will definitely come here again. It's worth booking, I think; we arrived at 7 for our booked table and by the time we left around 8:30 the place was full. --Kake
[Prices as of May 2003]