Le Champignon Sauvage
24-28 Suffolk Road
Cheltenham GL50 2AQ
Tel. 01242 573 449
Food type: Modern French
Nearest train station: Cheltenham Spa
Website: Le Champignon Sauvage
Le Champignon Sausage, better known to the locals as ‘the champion sausage’ has been flying the gastronomic flag for Gloucester for nearly 30 years. Chef/ proprietor David Everitt-Matthias has been doing the foraging thing that is so much the rage in todays dining scene long before it was even a thing. It is almost as if he was prophetic in his cooking style, a man way ahead of his time, to include foraged food items on the plate while every one else at that time was messing around with sous vide and foams. Along with his wife, Helen (who runs front of house), Everritt-Matthias has successfully retained 2*s for more than a decade and a half. During this time, many chefs have passed through the kitchen doors, going to carve a career of their own. Alumnus include Matt Worswick and Mark Stinchcombe (winner of Masterchef Professionals 2015). In fact, when I was chatting with Phil Howard recently, he mentions that any chef coming from the kitchen here are technically very sound. David is also the rare breed of chefs who is (until this day) always there cooking in his own kitchen and has never missed a service.
We dined on a Tuesday night where the restaurant offers the standard fixed priced a la carte menu – 3 courses for £65 as well as a cheaper menu du jour for £32 (also available during lunch). There is no tasting menu available. There are around 6 options per course on the standard a la carte menu where the dishes are slightly more elaborate than the ones on the menu du jour. Selecting the dishes can be tricky though as all the items sound very appealing. The wine list does have a good selection of half bottles and if you look carefully there are some absolute gems at a very fair price. The dining room features tables that are nicely spaced apart and *gasp* table cloths. Unlike many restaurants, they maintain a sensible level of lighting such that you can actually see the food you are eating. Service here is excellent, led by an experienced front of house team, although I wish the atmosphere would have been a lot less hush-hush.