The wonderful thing about Le Palais du Jardin is the consistency - good food, excellent service and a stylish ambience. Its maitre d', who looks like a young Tom Conti, ranks as one of the best in London.
In spite of its Covent Garden location, Le Palais has an unassuming presence. Nestled on a busy street amid a potpourri of big-brand stores, it provides a great refuge for mid-range client entertainment.
The bright interior has been cleverly designed with interlinked spaces so that the 200 or so covers never seem too empty or too full. There's also a glass-fronted exterior that opens up during the summer months, and a mezzanine level toward the rear that provides ample opportunity for people-watching.
The restaurant's classic bar is located by the entrance, so you can just have a drink instead of a meal.
The menu is structured around both light and more ambitious seafood offerings. Also, there's a fusion of traditional and modern French cuisine coupled with an impressive wine list that isn't outrageously priced.
What sets Le Palais apart from other eateries in Covent Garden is that it has a certain 'buzz' that makes you and your client feel special.
Where: 136 Long Acre, London, WC2
Contact: 020 7379 5353
How much: £39 per person without wine