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Everything posted by Plutocrat

  1. Terrible news. http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/local-west-yorkshire-news/2013/06/22/70-jobs-go-as-flockton-chef-anthony-flinn-s-leeds-restaurant-group-collapses-86081-33509262/ They are to make a statement on Monday.
  2. Cheers Bapi, we have definitely had to find more time for lunches these days, since I agree that restaurants are fare game at that time I'll give the Millbank a go in the next few weeks then since we've been feeling a little deprived recently. Got our first babysitter in for a trip to No 3 in a couple of weeks.
  3. Bapi - I take it from your earlier posts that they are ok with young kids? I've got a 4 month old at home now and we are struggling to find places that are ok with them. Anthony's said it would be ok but I have a slight nevousness about her clearing out that enclosed space. We had a slightly traumatic event at the Star at Harome in the bar area where she decided that no one else should get to eat at all. It ended with us eating our courses indicidually whilst one of us rocked a pram outside! -Not a relaxed dining experience, especially with 20 people standing at the bar ogling your table with avarice. Cheers P
  4. From what I have heard over the years. Madame Avis can be difficult to deal with. Colleagues of mine have come out of confrontations dripping with sweat. I had heard that she had mellowed over the years though. There is as Andy says, insufficient information to base anything on. I had to check this thread since I'd heard a nasty rumour that it was for sale and thought the Guellers were leaving - I would have been sorry if that was the case.
  5. Thats not really what I got from it. Surely the point is that these restaurants are in trouble in the first place so apply to be on the programme? If thats the case - why not take any advice on board and carry on doing what got you into trouble in the first place. GR did advise that money would be made on the wine even if he cut food prices. Tastings and things may get people in once but the point was they surveyed the locals and most who had been said they wouldn't go back - reason - cost. Since this used to be a destination restaurant hes trying to maintain it as such - the legacy you mention - but without a Star and with a falling reputation how is he going to make money as a destination. You need some local support to keep you ticking over I would have thought. What use is 40 years legacy if you have to close? I think a lot of GRs advice on downgrading comes because of the restaurant he had which failed in Glasgow, Amaryllis?, or something. It seemed to fail because of over fussy food and high prices, and although he is no management guru, a lot of advice does make sense, to me anyway. I agree with the pectorals bit though P
  6. He seems a bit less harsh this time round. The only significant bit of swearing was in the "Full Metal Jacket" style bit of squad motivation held outside - and I'm sorry, that maitre'd wouldn't scare my granny like that.
  7. I bought a pair of peugeot mills about 6 months ago from here. I've been very happy with them. They give a good even grind for the pepper and have been completely reliable. The salt mill doesn't cope well with the flaky maldon salt though. I can't seem to get a really coarse grind out of them either. Like others here I use a pestle if I want big chunks. P
  8. Apparently the newly starred Box Tree will be opening for Friday and Saturday lunch. I'm off next week so will report back P
  9. Likewise. Shocked and stunned. P
  10. I would agree that Tubbys is a pleasant experience but if price is not a factor then The Box Tree is far better food and surroundings. I always feel too exposed in Tubbys because of all the glass (but mabye thats just my inbuilt paranoia). The food is good enough for lunch but I don't think it can really be compared. I had a very decent duck breast with goats cheese a couple of weeks ago but it does lack a bit of finesse. Off to hunt down Jan Moirs review now. P
  11. Finally made it in for sunday lunch on 17th since I can't seem to find the time for an evening meal at the moment. (exam issues as well I'm afraid). The welcome and initial service was ok, nothing special. The front room is nice and welcoming and has got rid of the previous peeling paintwork and smell of damp. We were ushered upstairs were unfortunately for a cold October day, the central heating seemed not to be on. Goosebumps ensued since our coats had been whisked away. I nice light dutch beer arrived promptly nad was a very pleasant aperitif ( sorry I can't remember the name of it - but it was first on the beer list) and a mineral water for the wife ( driving ) - Source I think. After a short while we were led downstairs to the dining room. I can see why people might have problems with this room as its not large. Every table is kind of stuck against the wall because its long and narrow. I had taken a recommendation on the wine and a 1999 Gigondas by Guigal arrived - very good indeed. My starter was pumpkin soup with a roasted scallop nestled within it. I really enjoyed this. I'm not usually the greatest fan of squash soups but this went down well. I think that one of Simons strong points is definitely the soups. My wife had a mushroom risotto which was not too innovative but very fresh tasting and light. Mains were roast beef for both. Not too much to say here. It was well done, good quality beef etc. etc. Puds were the raspberry pannacotta described above. Very good. Did remind me of an anthonys style pud somewhat. Great combination though. My wife had passion fruit sorbet - again something we used to really enjoy at Guellers - and it did not disappoint. Coffee and petit fours upstairs again. Service was adequate/ good. All the staff obviously need some bedding in time but everything was relaxed and very friendly. No complaints really. All in £120 with wine. The Sunday set menus are £18 for 2 courses and £25 for three. I do have to disagree with the above though. It is already the best restaurant I've found in Ilkley. Nothing else really offers that level of dining. Still got the Steps restaurant to do as I hear it has a new chef - but I'm not holding my breath. P
  12. Regarding the portion size I did mean that they were on the large size. I think someone had said that 3 courses on the ALC was a bit of a feat. I thought that they were large but so long as you avoid the tasting pud its comfortably done. (Likewise, I have never been accused of anorexia ) Regarding the comparisons between Anthony's and No.3 I know they shouldn't be compared but when they are two of the three fine dining restaurants locally to you its difficult not to put them side by side as an overall experience. I go through phases regarding what I fancy for my dinner and its great to have such a choice. But man is by gender a list maker and ranker of things Either one at the mo. is a great choice - I'll need to try the degustation double header when Anthony's is available. Amighty feat of endurance that would be P
  13. I had the first meal I'd had in ages at No 3 on saturday past. I hadn't actually been since the old days of Simon Gueller. I used to be quite a fan but toward the end of his reign we'd had a pretty average but shockingly expensive meal there and just never seemed to find the urge to back. Anyway recent chat on here persuaded me to drag myself away from Anthony's and give it a go again. It was good The amuse was a small cup of gazpacho, which was a little shocking to the palate initially because of a heavy vinegar kick at hte back of the throat - I thought this was a little overpowering but it did mellow towards the end of the dish. I'm not the reatest fan of cold soup but it wasn't bad all in, having just a hint of the classic heinz tomato soup at the end. My starter was "Carpaccio of English Beef Fillet with Foie Gras, Pommery Mustard Cream, Salad of Herbs" The carpaccio was gorgeous - properly melt in the mouth. The foie seemed to lack a little depth though (maybe too cold?) The mustard cream was a lovely thing though. The salad of herbs was probably a little too strong for the delicacy of the rest though as I found myself taking a slurp of wine after every mouthful to clear my tongue a little (and that was obviously the only reason ). Overall though a really good dish. My wifes "Seared Sea Scallops with Jerusalem Artichoke Purée, Asparagus Salad, Truffle Vinaigrette" was superb. The scallops and that great resistance and then give that I love - beautifully cooked. My reason for not having the pigs trotter for starter was that I then had an exuse to go for "Braised Pig’s Trotter stuffed with Black Pudding, Veal Sweetbreads & Chicken Pomme Purée, Essence of Morels £ 17.95" I think somebody else described this dish as rich. Ooof - it was a belt buster. The trotter itself was fantastic, full of unctious flavours. The pomme puree was less of a hit, reminding me of school dinner mashed spuds - not a good memory. My wife had "Fillet of Beef, Gratin Dauphinoise, Buttered Spinach, Fricassée of Wild Mushrooms, Red Wine Sauce £18.95". This was gorgeous. Loveley tender, aged beef and a great sauce. The gratin was one of the best I have ever had - Its making me hungry even thinking about it - so creamy. By this time my wife was beginning to struggle so pre dessert that she could scoff down was a surprise. The details are a little hazy but it was some kind of creamy/thick banana thing with a butterscotch topping. I gulped it down in seconds - I could have eaten a whole bowful - gorgeous. After that my wife could only manage half her "Champagne Jelly with Red Fruits, Passion Fruit Sauce". This wasn't bad, but the jelly lacked any interest where it didn't surround the fruit. I however, was feeling braver. The " Assiette of Desserts " wasn't going to stop me. 6 little puds on a plate, one of each on the menu plus ice cream: Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Vanilla Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce, Crème Brûlée, Compote of Granny Smiths, Blackberry Jus, Champagne Jelly with Red Fruits, Passion Fruit Sauce, Iced Banana Parfait with Bitter Chocolate Sorbet & Caramel sauce, Baked Lemon Tart with a Hot Orange Soufflé, Out of those, the Souffle was great as was the lemon tart. The creme brulee and ice cream good but not great and the other two a bit disappointing. ( I was very stuffed by this point though and it would have taken something special to keep me going). We finished a fine meal with coffee and homemade chocs in the bar, although many of the chocs went uneaten the ones sampled were good. Wine was the 1989 Chateau Musar as recommended by someone who eats here only rarely . It was good but I agree it kicks off serious sediment - the last glass had to be left half drunk . Many have mentioned the portion sizes and I certainly don't think they were small but I was only in physical pain because I went for the assiete of desserts. Its do-able comfortably normally. Seasoning was nearly all spot on too. A good meal then and at £170 for two possibly slightly more than Anthony's. A's remains my favourite for the moment though. Cheers P
  14. I'm a bit gutted that they don't open for weekday lunch. I had visions of creeping in once a week for lobster thermidor mmmmm..... The menu does look good, definately on the comfort food side of things, but no bad thing - especially if they maintain comfort sized portions :-) P
  15. I quite like this place. Just ordered a couple of Peugeot grinders from them. http://www.cucinadirect.com Reasonable selection of knives and widgets. P
  16. Ate here on Friday night. As noted it is a little pricey for the quality of the ingredients given. Suckling pig terrine was beautiful to look at but distictly lacking in the flavour department. My wifes scallops were slightly overcooked. The highlight of the starters was the sweetcorn ravioli. Very delicate flavour that built with each successive bite. Mains were less impressive. I guess the fillet of beef as above must have seemed appealing as three out of four of us went for it. I had mine rare and on first bite it tasted excellent. On further mouthfuls however you could not that it was an inferior pice of meat and the truffle jus seriously over salted ( and I love my salt). Lamb on a bed of peas was far superior. Very pink in the middle and good meat. No puds for us. Filled up on too many bread products. Overall food was ok but more on the level of a Harvey Nicks cafe than a proper restaurant. However the bill was something else. £300 for 4 people for two courses is a little steep for this quality. Admittedly £80 of this was booze ( we were thirsty ) but not a place I'll be running back to. Of course a large part of this cost must be due to location - everything else on the Cannery is similiar but I still felt my wallet had been violated.
  17. Well, after an uninspiring and expensive meal in the new Conran venture in Canary Wharf "Plateau" on Friday, the anticipation of dinner at Anthonys was almost too much to bear throughout the drive up home on Saturday, and again we were not to be disappointed. Arriving to a warm welcome from Anthony Sr and Holly at the bar we started off with the previously discussed "Deus" champagne style beer. very honeyed and initially a little bit of a shock, but as the bottle goes down I enjoyed it more and more. An excellent and different aperitif. We then headed downstairs for food. The Pina Colada was still on. Slight changes to this since we enjoyed it on our first visit. Now served in a glass rather than a shallow bowl it can be a little difficult to consume elegantly. It also seems to be served at a slightly higher temperature which has allowed the flavours to come through. The paprika wafers were present and correct. These are magnificent crisps and go so well with beer that I want a large bowl of them next time I'm on the beer. The amuse was a bilberry ice cream with sweetcorn. Wow. Individually the bilberry was exciting on the tongue. I think I may have found my new favourite fruit but the season is apparently only 2 weeks long The sweetcorn crispy and delicate. Taken together though, the effect was astonishing. The flavour of the sweetcorn was brought out to an amazing extent. Starters of Langoustine in fennel tea, and white onion risotto were as excellent as previously described. The langoustine on this occasion were particularly plump and pleasing. I noticed in his review here that Giles Coren described the parmesan as a little greasy. Can't say I noticed that but maybe my palate is insufficiently educated. Mains of salt cod and saddle of rabbit followed. Again previously described. I loved the way the beetroot/raspberry puree brings out the gameyness of the rabbit. The salt cod was described by my good lady wife as "possibly the greatest thing I have ever eaten". Puts my culinary efforts in the shade then Pre dessert was white chocolate sorbet with white berries. The flavour of the white chocolate coming through without its tendency to heaviness/greasiness. We stretched ourselves to puds. The peanut ice cream chocolate cake and the coffee timbale. Unfortunately my timbale burst and released its intense coffee goo before it got to the table but it tasted very fine. We had the usual selection of cheeses to round off a fantastic meal. We then retired upstairs for coffees and a few beers off the menu. I particularly enjoyed the raspberry beer which smelt like a pot of homemade raspberry jam and tasted like raspberry creamola foam. A porter and a duvel and all was well with the world Sorry to have missed you Gary, apparently you had just left when we arrived. Anthony Sr was impressed it was the first time lunch service had run straight into dinner. Back again tomorrow night with my father to show him what all the fuss is about. God, life is harsh. Edit:oops. seems like I was posting at the same time as you Gary Edit: again. Typos
  18. Dinner on Saturday myself I'll just miss eating in the same restaurant as the hallowed Gary. However - may have the special honour of eating at his table. (I wonder if you can reserve it )
  19. Indeed Edit: Sorry don't know how to attribute a quote to someone in my post Gary.
  20. I'm guessing the champers beer wasn't quite to your taste then ? P
  21. Yep, there is a wide range of unusual beers to try, including the £20 / bottle "Dom Perignon alike" already mentioned. I think the main focus is on small independant brewers from the US. I did try a nice Boston one IIRC - nice and fruity. Anthony Sr is very knowledgeable and keen to expand your horizons. Think I'll go for the champagne one as an aperitif next time - got to try everything once P
  22. This is great news. I work in Ilkley and it has missed the presence of The Box Tree as a Yorkshire dining institution. Never eaten there before as it was already losing its reputation when I moved to the area. I am excited about a new Gueller venture tho' as I was always a fan of his eponymous restaurant - Pigs Trotters with black pud - excellent.
  23. Hi, long time reader first time poster. Wonderful meal last Friday in Anthony's. Squeezed in at 21:30. The service didn't suffer for the late sitting tho'. We had amuses of ?reconstructed/deconstructed pina colada with a coconut foam - very light and airy and a pleasant palate cleanser followed by a kind of rice paper wafer with paprika. The third consisted of marinated sprat fillets with an oil made with roasted garlic (and other things but memory is a little hazy) - this was utterly fantastic. Meals were the anjou squab and the duck with caramel chocolate bonbons for myself and langoustine with fennel tea (a real high point) and monkfish for my good lady wife. Pre dessert followed of raspberry sorbet with white chocolate shavings - very sharp and captured a real fresh rasp. flavour. Puds of tarte tatin and cheeses, Mrs Bells being the best. Upstairs we had an interesting boston beer and a couple of whiskies and a good chat with Anthony the elder. All in all, a great experience. Slightly disappointed at the lack of jacketless potatoes and upside - down guiness but they'll be back - as will we Plutocrat
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