Going to Chez Bruce is a little like going back in time via Clapham. There are twinkly, charming, suited staff who serve you warm bread. There are couples holding hands across the crisp, white tablecloths. There are baked Alaskas being served all over the humming dining room. You get the feeling that everyone could easily be discussing whether Ross and Rachel will actually happen, or what to make of that hot young thing Julia Roberts—and that’s part of Chez Bruce’s great comfort. The menu is based on classic French technique—there’s a lobster raviolo the size of a tennis ball—but it also has some sometimes good, sometimes odd alternative flourishes, like miso glaze, caponata, and the like. But in a room full of doe-eyed dates and anniversaries, it’s clear that Chez Bruce has known what it’s been doing since 1995.
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