Covent Garden might not always feel like the most promising place to dine out. However, if you take a glance at our Guide to WC2 (Esquire Feb '12, page 50) you'll note there's actually a hell of a lot going on what could be, at first glance, mistaken for another benighted Central London tourist zone.
You're certainly in safe hands at Mishkin's, Barrafina or the Delaunay, but for something a little different take a wander down King Street and try Clos Maggiore.
Awarded the title of London's Most Romantic Restaurant by the venerable gastronomes at Harden's, dining at Clos takes place by the warmth of a log fire, and beneath a glass roof with a perpetually blossoming bower. The food is classically French, rich and indulgent, which chimes in perfectly with the ambience - discrete yet decadent.
A word of warning; the wine list, whilst hugely impressive, is also just huge - like a Yellow Pages of grape-based beverages. It is possible to trawl through the selection and masterfully request a vintage (using the six digit reference number), but far better to allow the sommelier to do their thing, and match individual glasses to your various courses. It makes you look benevolent, and gives them a sense of purpose. Better.
Clos Maggiore is tiny, quaint and unashamedly Gallic, and is yet another reason to bypass Pineapple Dance Studios and Bella Italia and get to know the real Covent Garden.
Clos Maggiore - 33 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7379 9696