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Gary Marshall

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  1. i forgot the pre-deserts, they were very good, we had similar. also one thing we thought that as they bed it down, if they were full, they'd struggle. At lunch there were only 10 covers in the time we were there, as usual we were first in, last out, and they seemed stretched. I agree with scott, certainly 1 star rising whether, as hoped, it marks the start of something unique to the london dining scene remains to be seen. gary
  2. Had lunch yesterday at tom aikens. On arrival i was slightly perturbed to see building work still continuing but thankfully the interior is complete. I've not seen fay maschlers review, but jan moir's i think did give the impression of a very comfortable 'proper' restaurant, lots of nice linen,table skirts, glasses etc and indeed all these are present but the anouska hemple designed interior is, well a bit 80's. It's all dark wood, black chairs and very minimal, not what i was expecting at all (for some reason i was expecting something a bit more cossetting like hibiscus). It also looks pretty much exactly like guellers in leeds, and i think the decor there has been a big part of their much publicised problems, but anyway la hempel has designed more restaurants than me so we'll see, but give me j sheeky's anyday. there's a 3 course set lunch with coffee for £24.50 (plus 12.5% service) which looked good as i spied dishes coming out, 2 choices for each course, but as i was being treated we plumped for the a la carte which was £39.50 incl coffee but sans optional 12.5% service Amuses were shooters of a bright green snail soup, good. the menu (in a blackbinder) is headlined by the principle ingredient i had LANGOUSTINES which were roast langoustines with braised pork belly,chervil sauce, artichoke puree, truffle ravioli. it was 3 langoustines on a little nuggets of pork with the raviloi on top, it was technically all very good and satisfying but not amazing, saucing is very light, and as i get excitied by seeing sauce spoons i was diappointed not be able to put it to good use! my colleague had WILD SALMON marinated with beetroot and orane with caviar, dill and beetroot leaf saldad. his rationale for ordering was he was (edit)not (!)a fan of beetroot and wanted to see if a decent chef could change his mind, he didn't but the speed at which it was woolfed down suggested it was ok. Although i toyed with the PIGS HEAD, and sounded great, it was served with brains 2 ways, i know that's a plus for many, but with my 'no brains, no testicles' rule, i demurred and went for the PIGEON which was steamed with thyme, chestnut veloute and cannelloni, soft lettuce. (incidentally the first pigeon i've fancied since been put off it at the fat duck) i can't do this dish justice as my memory .......fades but it was pigeon in a varity of forms seared, confited, braised, sausage, it was damn fine and has restored my faith in pigeons! Colleague had SEA BASS which again disapeared before i could get my fork into it. Decent french cheeses follwed (£10 supplement) and in the interests of thorough research for my egullet friends i partook of desert which was APPLE an apple filo with almonds and green apple sorbet. a tower of filo and apple, quite light and again good. the wine list is good and the amiable sommelier gearoid devaney was helpful. we had a glass of pol roger nv to start, half a didier daugenau pouilly fume (more for the fact i wanted to try it than for food matching purposes) then some wines by the glass to match mains and cheese, a basic bourgoune for the pigeon and soemthing from the languedoc for the cheese. stupidly we had a 4pm meeting so couldn't make full use of the list but it looked interesting not a lot of halves but certainly seemed happy to offer a good selection by the glass and some unusual southern french wines and alscatians in there too. In summary the starters were probably the low point but a very accomplished meal. I would have liked to have chatted with tom aikens but had to rush off, staff good but still in training. Unfortunately for me i think my expectations were prob a bit too high, i've never eaten tom aikens food before and the reputation suggested fireworks and i was therefore slightly disappointed overall not to have a truly outstanding lunch, however there were flashes of brilliance, and i'd certainly say it's worth a visit in terms of expectations being surpassed i had a better time at the one starred yorke arms in ramsgill on saturday, i'll write it up later as curry is beconing now! ps no waves of extras for me, hope sam and scott have better luck! cheers gary
  3. I'm going tomorrow lunch, also v positive review from jan moir in telegraph, can't wait!
  4. lots of pr in the caterer and restaurant mag. looks v good, opted for a ramsay-esque monday to friday opening. ambitions for 2 stars again, (no doubt on line at caterer.com too) cheers gary
  5. andy started it! bruce poole was there recently, i'm guessing he mentioned it to andy that it was a popular garnish. no pies though but a full english the next morning followed by a tour round a sausage factory, which reminds me if you are a fan of sainsbury's taste the difference or duchy originals, fear mot for what may be in them. it is all pork belly and boned shoulder with requisite fresh herbs or additions as recipe demands. we had a plate of sausage sarnies too!
  6. ooops, i did it again i 'somehow' managed to find myself back in Winteringham fields last week, this time for the 'menu surprise'. This is a 6 course set menu, plus amuse and pre-starters/deserts for £68, which isn't bad value for what you get. My trip was prefaced by a longer than usual stay in the pub across the road (where we stayed for the night, much cheaper than w/f at £45) so although the dinner was greatly enjoyed, i've had to rely on the lovely staff at winteringham to fill in the blanks as to what we actually had... amuses: lentil soup with lightly curried foam : served in a shot glass, a variation on a common theme at w/f. tuna sashimi en croute. pre-starter: ecabeche of mussels, saffron dressing, and wild garlic leaves. first course: pan fried duck breast, tortellini of braised duck and rhubard. soup: roasted red pepper soup, balsamic reduction, tiger prawns (this was fantastic, very intense) Fish: John Dory compote of savoy cabbage with olives, capers and lemon butter sauce (a small portion of fish but very good) Meat: Fillet of beef, stir fry of sweetbreads, jasmine flavoured sauce and potato galette. This was excellent, very oriental in its seasoning, the potato came in the form of a grid on top. which was nice. cheese: the usual excellent selection pre desert: passion fruit souffle with vanilla ice cream, granite of strawberry and black pepper with confit vanilla strand (mini souffles) desert: dark chocolat coulant enrobed in white choc creme patissiere tuile, whisky dried apricots (well w/f say thats what it was i just remember what i would call a moulleux du chocolat by itself, however by this point i trust their recollection better than my own. drinks were glass champagne, bottle st clair 2001 riesling marlborough nz (£32 odd), bottle ch Musar (£39 ish), glass port, armagnac & coffees. total for two £250. worth it for a full evenings entertainment, better value than a la carte and this menu surprise was much better than one i had when they were very busy before christmas. still recommended ps no vanilla pods though andy
  7. mogsob any idea if any of these are open on sundays? (i see now latini in michelin is open) its the only night i'm there and it tends to be a poor night for dining. cheers gary
  8. http://www.patriciawells.com/reviews/iht/iht.htm whilst looking for a jamin website i found this.....
  9. Gary Marshall


    i tired the bistro du nord about 18 months ago. from recollection it has a bit more history than the others and is more traditional. i believe it is the restaurant bocuse first started working in. it is a traditional brasserie, lots of red banquettes and the usual bistro menu with a lyonnaise angle. i had a quick lunch there but if you're not expecting gastronomic fire works i'm sure it would be a buzzy evening place to go. gary
  10. After Bapi's write up, a birthday looming, and the thought it might close without me ever having tasted the egg yolk ravioli, i booked a table at winteringham fields for an a la carte blowout (overdraft having wisely been extended beforehand ). For my previous dinner at christmas i generously allowed the girfriend to drive home, having gallantly driven all the way there myself. So fearing i might not get away with a similar trick this time, booked the cheapest room available. As i have little shame i had mentioned 'once or twice' during the booking process that it was my birthday and those lovely people at winteringham did the decent thing and upgraded us to the burkhill suite which, if it had a kitchen, i'd happily move into! we meandered across the coutyard for pre dinner drinks at about 8 and were shown to the middle of 3 reception rooms, my personal favourite, dark, real fire, a bar that no-one staffs and a timeless feel to it that makes me think i'm here and i really couldn't give a toss about anything outside other what i'm going to eat and drink. a couple of louis roederer nv (i think) started proceedings (and unfortunately like many 2 stars sets the pricing tone, £9). As the menu came, it was at this point i was told of a very generous gift by no other than bapi and rosie, of a half chateau musar whcih was very kind and welcome i was also told in no uncertain terms i was having the egg yolk ravioli! Amuses were a shot glass of something with foam, (sorry, not going to be after Jay's job with that sort of description but i'm sad enough in restaurants without starting taking notes, i do have photo's though, no, i really do.) was very good, second was a cromesquis of cheese with a parsley sauce. We were ushered into the dining room and on the way germain came out to say hello, sad egotist that i am i wouldn't have cared what they cooked after that small guesture. Winteringham have seperate dining room/ reception staff /cheese staff and having been helped initially by chris wood the manager (and cheese expert) we were amiably looked after in the dining room by frenchman Laurent. Honourable mention must also go to the young local waitning staff who glide around the restaurant with one arm seemingly velcroed behind their backs, but they take professionalism and detail very seriously here! Our pre-starter was a scallop, dotted with caviar and encased in a rhubarb raviloi, it looked like a pink jellyfish and worked very well! For starters i had the now infamous ravioli of poached egg yolk on pan-fried veal sweetbreads with winter truffle, madeira and chicken stock reduction. needless to say bapi descibed it better than i can but it was basically a symbiotic richness explosion, not a lot of it but by 'eck it were good. the mrs had lightly smoked pan fried sturgeon, compote of shallots, cream of caviar and lemon jus. As it was a) my birthday and b) i'm a greedy git i also partook of a fish course, in this case a pan fried dover sole, warm glass tagliatelle of wild mushroom jus, emulsion of duck foie gras sauce. This was my favourite main course i would never have thought of fg with fish but it worked very well. Mains were for me the roast fillet of veal with saffron risotto, pan fried langoustine and candied aubergine, everything was perfectly cooked however it didn't particularly shine to me, mrs's rolled rack of lamb with braised shoulder, pomme boulangere and ragout of morels was more successful, indeed i can still recall the morels even now from the finishing off of sarah's dinner, see told you i was greedy. next came cheese, the usual well kept, huge selection, asi've got bored of trying the stinkiest possible i tend to stick to the hard cheeses and as such had tete de moine and a few other mainly british cheeses. As i am a greedy get part 3 i then had the assiette of desert which was as bapi described, prefaced by souffle's. drinks wise as well as bapi's ch musar we had an antinori cervaro, an italian chardonnay that was very burgundian in character and at what approaches value on the wine list at £59. by this point even i was beaten, it was about 11.30 so we'd had our money's worth. i had an armagnac back in the lounge and that was that, the walk back to our room seemed much longer than on the way there! save up to go, once it's gone its gone...... gary
  11. after lunch at st john and fortified by several cocktails of varying success (where is majumdar when you need him ) in 'blend' we headed to j sheekey for our 8pm table. on entering the establishment i just knew it was going to be good, welcoming staff, low lighting, wood panelling, polished glasses, linen, nice cutlery, well dressed staff and just that hum of a well drilled restaurant. our (quite small) table for 4 was in the first room to the right, we had a bottle of the theophile roederer to start (£39) served in the marie antoinette dishes rather than the usual coupe, which although incorrect, i think is a bit more fun. the menu is entirely fish (with meat 'on request') but hits all the bases fruits de mers, fish cakes/pies, fish n chips and the classic dishes so plenty to suit most tastes/levels of hunger. althought i really fancied crab bisque i eventually ordered a lighter dish, seared tuna on a bed of tomato brunoise and sliced fennel which was very good, light, and well exactly as it suggests! other memebers of the party had potted shrimps (very good) and squid with chorizo (looked good didn't taste). mains were grilled dover sole and bearnaise sauce for me, grilled john dory, and two prawn and monkfish brochettes. not a lot to add except all enthusiastically consumed, accompanied by ok chips, mushy peas, which although poncy were nice and broccoli. deserts were spotted dick for me, iced berries, creme brulee and a chocolate souffle that was more a moulleux du chocolate, all good. coffees, armagnacs and 3 rully premier cru's sorted out the liquid side of things giving a total bill of £312 which i didn't think was bad value for a very enjoyable dinner. it's certainly 8/10 th's of the ivy without the hassle. recommended gary
  12. finally made it to st john on wednesday lunchtime, i had absolutely no idea what to expect having never seen the restaurant in the flesh but was very impressed once inside, the bar/bakery was very welcoming with bread aromas wafting through and a seemingly decent selection of bar snacks available too. At 12.30 i was one of the first into the sparse dining room but the friendly staff were soon offering drinks and menu's whilst i waited for my 'errant ' guest (their words not mine!). A glass of champagne at a reasonable £6 accompanied menu perusal. As my guest was keen to have a bit of a sample too we settled on starters of chicken broth with wild garlic for her and grilled razor clams for me followed by bone marrow and parsley sald and chitterlings with a dandelion and mustard sauce. soup and clams were fine and both very garlicy, not a problem in my book. Bone marrow was interesting and i had no idea of the consistency of the marrow but i think i'll file it under, tried but not rush back category, the simple parsley salad did cut through the fat nicely thought and i could see how people eulogise about this dish but it's just not for me. chitterling were more successful, i was expecting perhaps a french andouillette type affair but we were faced with 6 or so nuggets of piggy-ness with a bitter salad and dressing, which worked well. by this point we'd forgotten about the mains and were quite full, however we pressed on with a 'special' of roast fore-rib of beef on beef dripping bread, which was as it says very tender beef served on almost fried bread with fresh horseradish and accompanied by new pots and greens. guest had cold roast lamb and asparagus i think. both were simple but delicous. by this point and conscious of further eating engagements later we skipped desert but both the eccles cake and apple tart were calling! washed it all down with a decent chorley les beaune (about £30) and total bill when first brought seemed a quite large £130 odd however closer inspection revealed the 3 razor clams charged at 6.60 each rather than actual 2.70! service was prompt polite and amiable, i can see how it would easily become a place you'd want to eat at regularly, but being boring i'd probably stick to the more conventional offerings, not wanting to be seen as amateurs though i did enquire about crispy pigs tales guest thought place fantastic and is already plotting post work drinks at the bar, if i'd been heading back north that night i'd certainly have cleaned the bakery out too! bring on the night of the pig!
  13. did bruce poole enjoy his meal at winteringham Andy? And many thanks Bapi & Rosie for my best surprise birthday present, a bottle of Ch Musar waiting for us at winteringham! Had great time, will write it up when finished revising for wine exam on sunday cheers gary
  14. la vigneraie is usually a good bet, a solid 2 knife and fork in michelin, nothing brilliant but honest cooking and seems very popular with the locals (if that's a recomendation!). Good selection of set and a la carte menu's I found au petit comptoir a bit too fashionable, if you want a 'proper' french meal but relatively informal, decent service and decent wine list then you'll not go too far wrong with La vigneraie. I go every visit to champagne. the address is 11 rue thillois just off the main pedestrianised area, tel 03 26 88 67 27 l'apostrophe is a good lunch/drinking spot but probably not what you are looking for in a night out i suspect. Enjoy boyer, it's certainly a luxury experience! cheers gary
  15. thanks for the help, have now booked st john! cheers gary
  16. Given the high rating accorded to the SA i'm keen to try it and mentioned it as a potential lunch venue, guest was not overly excited as said it lacks atmosphere at lunchtime on past visits. i suspect many of you regulars are evening punters anyone any thoughts on lunchtime? I'm a fan of the don so an alternative that sprang to mind is the bleeding heart or perhaps cafe du marche? i know not directly comparable to TSA but anyone any thoughts on these two? cheers gary
  17. great review mate, i'm impressed at your ability to remember what you had though i'm sure w/f will have given you your own menu to remind you! I'm really looking forward to my trip now but am now even more torn between requesting a taster or going a la carte, which i've never had. Obviously you've planted the seed of thought for staying for lunch the next day too! glad you enjoyed the ch. musar too, this is still the best value/taste wine i've come across . I'm surprised to hear your had to wait for wine to be served, normally they're pretty good in this respect my only issue is they do have a tendency to over chill whites, in my humble opinion. i've caught your rambling bug now so i'm off to costco to spend my lottery winnings on wine ps rumour of sale completion appears to be untrue. cheers gary
  18. get on with the winteringham review you workshy fop! gary
  19. that's ok i have my dinner at 12.30, now if it were tea, then i'd be struggling . matt
  20. yes please are you thinking lunch or dinner? gary
  21. Oh ferd, please do report back in huge detail I'm going to Venice/Garda/Verona in June, and I'll need some help too me too! i'm there friday 20th, saturday 21st june, and although i've not yet spent a great deal of time researching them, this looks like the most challenging place to find restaurants. cheers gary
  22. well i was thirsty after all that wine! thank you for filling in the 'blanks' cheers gary
  23. au pied du cochon, 6 rue coquilliere, nr les halles is famed for its onion soup, it is very good but it's the only one i've had in paris so others may know of better. the recipe is in patricia well's bistro cookbook, it is chicken stock based which makes it quite light but i'm afan of the heavier versions in the UK. gary
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