We have been resting a while after the seasonal excess. Now it’s time for our first blog meal of the year and we are starting as we mean to go on – aiming for quality. Paul Foster from Salt, was named as the Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year by the Good Food Guide 2018….so this should be a great place for lunch.
Rock is pleased to see that they stock an elderflower pressé by Lovely and I am equally happy to try the Harry’s Heifer ale from the Church Farm Brewery in nearby Warwick. Lovely soft drinks are handcrafted in Bristol and have won several Great Taste Awards. My Harry’s Heifer is an amber ale with citrus and floral notes. It is excellent.
We want something more than the set lunch but we cannot manage the 6 course tasting menu so we are choosing from the a la carte. I decide to start with the cured halibut with a cep ragu, yellow chanterelles and crispy onion. The halibut is soft and delicate and works well with the mushrooms & onion. As I’m not a great fan of truffle, I’m disappointed that truffle oil has been added to the dish (it’s not mentioned on the menu), and for me the flavour is just too strong for the halibut.
Rock decides against a starter and her first dish is spiced pheasant breast with lentil dhal, butternut squash and yoghurt. She is enjoying it but it doesn’t quite have the wow factor she was hoping for. I have the beef onglette with braised shin, beef fat hollandaise, crispy artichoke and pickled radish. The braised shin is a little tasteless but the onglette is medium rare, tender and full of flavour. I love the crispy artichoke and the hollandaise is inspired. Both main dishes were sadly served warm rather than hot!
The most interesting sounding dessert on the menu is the brown bread ice cream sandwich with blueberries and sorrel. That is the one we have decided to share. The ice cream is sandwiched between two flat tuiles made from brown bread, there are fresh blueberries, a blueberry syrup, strands of sorrel and a sorrel granita. It is fabulous. We both have coffee which is served with delightful choux buns filled with Scots pine custard.
It has been a meal of two halves, the starter and main courses were good – the dessert and petit fours were great.