Winchester’s newest restaurant opens in a short time (March 13 2008) ‘Blanc Brasserie’ in Jewry Street – beside the new Discovery Centre and opposite St Peter’s catholic church. The restaurant is one of a chain named after Raymond Blanc one of the greatest chef’s and restauranteurs in Britain, owner of the Quatre Saisons hotel, near Oxford.
The building was last used as an antique shop but behind is an incredibly crafted modern building put up by Muhammed Baktiar, a passionate developer from Winchester.
The new restaurant’s menu starts with a two course meal with wine for £11.50 and the menu is changed with every season.
The hallmark of Raymond Blanc’s cookery is use of fresh and local ingredients. While this is a chain (owned until recently by the same company behind Loch Fyne Fish Restaurant (right next door), the menus are all composed by Raymond.
In the week before opening Raymond visited some of the local farms as well as the wonderful Winchester Farmers Market. While visiting the many stall holders and sampling their produce this morning My wife Marie, who come from the same part of France near Besancon, had a short chat, and a taste of cheese with Raymond.
Competition may be fierce among the many restaurants and pubs along the street. Not long ago The Dim T Chinese restaurant opened, and close to Loch Fyne there is a modern Italian restaurant Prezzo. There are two other Chinese restaurants, and two modern Indian restauants close by. The street also boasts a wine bar (Greens), a cocktail bar and two lively pubs, The Gaol House and (around the corner in High Street) O’Neills.
Hampshire Chronicle article on Raymond Blanc
Short article on Raymond Blanc on BBC "The Restaurant" web pages.