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Corrigan at Lindsay House


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I had dinner at Richard Corrigan at the Lindsay House tonight. As Wilfrid suggested, while Corrigan is a chef with some promise, the restaurant has gone a bit downhill since prior visits (in my case, two in 2001). The food is still based on combinations that are interesting to me, with flavors that are appealing, but execution and balance on the plate were lacking and there were obvious service and other flaws.

I ordered the pre-theater menu, at Pounds 24 for two courses and 29.50 for three (items not chosen in square brackets):

-- Rare roast rump of veal, aubergine marmalade and soy

[Wild smoked salmon, green olives, saffron braised fennel]

-- Panfried fillet of green cod, fresh water prawns, langoustines veloute

[braised ox tongue, artichoke barigoule, ribbon of leeks]

-- Chocolate creme brulee, orange sorbet

[irish style Brie, spinach salad]

      Glass of champagne, Nicolas Feuillatte, Reserve

      Particuliere (Pounds 10)

      Glass of White Burgundy, Amiot 1998 (7.00)

The meal began on a sour service note. The young woman who appeared to be directing the dining room did not give me the pre-theater menu insert, even though I had specifically mentioned such menu upon making the reservation. (It is available for seating between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and, at Pounds 29.50 for three courses, is considerably less expensive than the 48.00 prix fixe for the same number of courses.) What surprised me was that, when I asked this woman for the pre-theater menu insert, she harshly said that such menu is only available for those who mention it upon making the reservation. I retorted that I had mentioned it at that time, only to be met with the response that it had not been noted.  (Gee -- I wonder whose fault that was?!) Interestingly, I may not have chosen to order the pre-theater menu, had this eposide not occured. However, I was so irked that I decided to order the pre-theater, even though I would have liked something else as an appetizer (the lobster ravioli, for comparison against Gordon Ramsay RHR and Petrus; see a la carte menu noted below). As a general matter, the service appeared a bit strained, but it was not unduly off the mark for a Michelin one-star. One of the dining room staff members was a Russian woman, and she spoke very loudly in Russian to a group of businessmen at the adjacent table who were celebrating the consummation of a Russian securities offering.

The amuse was a small amount of chicken bouillon in a cappucino cup, with even smaller bits of shrimp and slices of mushroom. The weakness in this dish was the taste of the bouillon itself -- not particularly chicken-flavored and with a oddly, slightly sour aftertaste.

The veal appetizer was bordering on very good. Small pieces of tender, pinkish veal, aided by a mild soy-based sauce that was appropriately limited in quantity. A good amount of chanterelles, and several small pieces of extremely fatty veal that had crispy edges and that were satisfying. The aubergine marmelade accompanying this dish was refreshing (as far as aubergine goes). A dish I enjoyed quite a bit.

However, the green cod entree re-anchored the meal at an average level. Although not noted on the menu as such, the fish was pollack (one I do not particularly like).  The fish was ever-so-slightly overcooked, but not poor. A detracting factor was the significant oversalting of the zucchini spaghetti which accompanied the fish.  The prawns, in segments encirculing the pollack, were nice, as were the circular dots of a medium-consistency langoustines veloute lining the plate. Also nice were small pools of parsley puree, and a bit of flavored oil. Overall, the entree was at most average.

A pre-dessert was served -- a shotglass of decent apple pudding, with plentiful vanilla liquid cream.  The dessert was so-so, being a dense dark chocolate creme brulee in a circular dish. Icing sugar speckled the top of the creme brulee.  Atop this item were candied orange peels and a run-of-the-mill orange sorbet.  The best part of the mignardises was the mini warm lemon tart, with its thin bottom and creme-brulee-like top.

I felt disappointed after this meal, in part because I know Corrigan is capable of better.   :confused:  My 2001 meals at the Lindsay House had been better, including with respect to service aspects.

Here is additional information for interested members:

A LA CARTE (at Pounds 48, including dessert)

Other appetizers:

Salad of Cornish crab with globe artichoke

Terrine of salmon, marinated courgette and basil, baby beetroot

Sardines with shellfish souffle and tomato salad

Roast quail, foie gras quiche, Muscat grape jelly

Ravioli of lobster, braised fennel, langoustine veloute

Sweet sherry marinated foie gras with fig compote

Pithivier of chicken, goats cheese, prunes, pickled mushrooms

Other entrees:

Cornmeal croquettes, warm salad of leek and tomato

Native scallops, tagliatelle, carrot and parsley veloute

Ballottine of sea bass, cabbage, oyster cream

Fillet of beef, ratatouille of snail, garlic and parsley butter sauce

Roast saddle of rabbit, black pudding, polenta and confit garlic

Breast of wood pigeon, foie gras and pumpkin chutney

Assiette (Plate) of lamb, homous, rosemary oil and pousse

TASTING MENU (at Pounds 65)

Sweet sherry marinated foie gras with fig compote

Sardines with shellfish souffle and tomato salad

Rare roast rump fo veal, aubergine marmalade and soy

Native scallops, tagliatelle, carrot and parsley veloute

Breast of wood pigeon, foie gras and pumpkin chutney

Poached pear and Sauternes jelly, blue cheese Bavarois

Warm steamed apple pudding, vanilla cream

Rhubarb millefeuille with grenadine syrup

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He's put the prices up! I can't believe that. He's just 2 pounds cheaper than Petrus now and 7 pounds less than The Square, neither of which I think he comes close to.

How would you compare your meal at La Trompette to Lindsay House? Do you like the restaurant (ie LH) interior and do you find it comfortable?

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Andy -- On the prices, I think the pre-theater price is still good, despite the limitation of selection to two alternatives for each course. I prefer both Petrus and The Square to Lindsay House, but used to go to LH prior to Royal Opera performances (e.g., when Kirov ballet and opera troupes visited last summer). LH is close to the Leicester Square Tube stop, and a manageable walk to the opera house even with heels.

I preferred my meal at La Trompette to tonight's meal.  Note that last night's meal at Smith of Smithfields, Second Floor, cost only Pounds 15 less than LH's pre-theater (taking into account in each case wine consumed).

Subjectively, I like LH's interior. It's a mix of styles, because the house itself is a bit run-down (in an arguably charming way) and has old-style touches with respect to the fireplace area, the staircases, etc. I liked the yellow roses placed on top of the fireplace area on the Ground Floor (the only area at LH in which I have dined). I found the lighting slightly too dark, but only by a small margin. What was odd (and I hadn't noticed this, for some reason, on prior visits) was that the walls (about waist-height) of the Ground Floor dining area had small gold-colored squares painted on them (albeit in a "spaced out" manner).  Overall, the decor of LH was fine.

Continuing with decor, my favorite color is burgundy, so I like Petrus' entryway and sitting area. I will provide an updated report on Petrus after my meal there (work permitting) this Friday night. (My favorite restaurant in London is, by a wide margin, Gordon Ramsay RHR and I do not believe Petrus approximates that.)  :wink:

Also, a note on the LH wine list. It can be on the expensive side for some bottles, although there were various bottles under Pounds 40. For example, the Lynch-Bages Steve P picked out for the La Trompette Meal (click previous words for link) meal was priced at Pounds 275, almost double the La Trompette price of approximately 140.

blind lemon higgins -- I am attempting another late meal (10:30 pm). Interestingly, Petrus asked me to provide a credit card guarantee of the reservation. This had not been requested on prior visits.

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For example, the Lynch-Bages Steve P picked out for the La Trompette Meal (click previous words for link) meal was priced at Pounds 275, almost double the La Trompette price of approximately 140.

I know that the rates etc are vastly different in Soho than Chiswick, but come on, thats bloody ridiculous isn't it?

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but come on, thats bloody ridiculous isn't it?

Yes, although Steve P noted that the 1985 Lynch-Bages we took in at La Trompette was very well-priced as far as restaurant offerings go.  (The Lynch-Bages at LH was exactly the same year.)

Here are sample prices from WineSearcher, which I do not know are indicative (in view of my very limited wine knowledge):

http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-se....KRN00HV (note USD quoting)

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The meal began on a sour service note. The young woman who appeared to be directing the dining room did not give me the pre-theater menu insert, even though I had specifically mentioned such menu upon making the reservation.

What surprised me was that, when I asked this woman for the pre-theater menu insert, she harshly said that such menu is only available for those who mention it upon making the reservation. I retorted that I had mentioned it at that time, only to be met with the response that it had not been noted.  (Gee -- I wonder whose fault that was?!)

As a general matter, the service appeared a bit strained

A group of us had our worst ever service experience there a few years ago.  This included a long wait for dishes, dishes' being brought at different times, placing the wine out of our reach and then not re-filling glasses, and general surliness.  It culminated in one of the waiters hitting my girlfriend on the head with a tray as he walked past (albeit inadvertently).

Needless to say, we've never been back.

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  • 1 year later...

Enjoyed a great supper at Lindsay House earlier this week. I was generally very impressed, it being my first visit. The interior was pretty cool, eccentric domestic surroundings that made me feel I was at a friends house for dinner - not rocket science, as I suppose that is the point!

The food was excellent on the whole - especially the seared veal and aubergine marmalade that I had to start, and the pre-dessert of blackberry crannuch (sic.). Having not eaten Corrigan's food before I had his signature dish of rabbit and black pudding. The flavours were really good, but I found the overall combination rather dry. Perhaps a lack of moisture is the price that you pay for taste, but I just did not think that it worked.

The service was attentive, and nothing more, and the bill, in the light of all the food and drink we consume, not that bad. Has anyone else been recently?

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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Lindsay House was far and away the worst 'starred' meal I have ever eaten. There are numerous bad reports from Lindsay house on the web, I can onjly imagine that Corrigan hotfots it over to the kitchen himself whenever a suspected Michelin inspector arrives as a lot of the poor reports seem to coincide with Corrigans abscence.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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As a long term fan of the Lindsay House against all other criticism, I decided to visit recently. Unfortunately, Corrigan is no longer cooking there and this was patently obvious - although there were some good things - goat's cheese sorbet, the Irish whiskey selection, generally this was a disappointment, so I now have to move to the side of the criticisers...

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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I went to the Lindsay House about four weeks ago with some friends of mine from the States. The meal was poor enough (and expensive enough) that I felt the need to apologize to my friends for having suggested it. I wont go into great detail because my criticism is not much different from that above, but some highlights:

We reserved through toptable which was running a special (three course for 30 pounds, I think) Similar to Cabrales experience mentioned at the start of this thread, I had to ask a number of times for the "special" menu and was generally made to feel uncomfortable that we were ordering from it, notwithstanding the fact I booked through toptable;

We waited at least 30 minutes for someone to take orders of any kind (including drinks) and a further 20 before we received the wine we ordered. Lindsay House is too small and too expensive for this type of error;

Staff was woefully unknowledgeable about the food;

I chose not to go with the set menu; had seared foie gras for a starter. It was the thinnest piece of seared foie gras I have ever had, and unsurprisingly was overdone and tough;

My main was pork belly with seared scallops I remember being dubious about the dish and particularly the ability of the chef to combine these two ingredients in a way that wouldnt completely overwhelm the scallops. I took a chance. Bad move. Not only was my fear confirmed, but it was unequivocally the worst pork belly I have ever had. They managed to take a cut of meat which is like 50% fat, and transform it into a lifeless, bone dry, tough and bland piece of cardboard. devastating.

The place was also so hot the four of us were literally dripping with sweat by the end of the meal. And no, this was not the really hot part of the summer. In fact, it was a cloudy, relatively cool evening.

Before you even factor in the cost, I would never return here. When I think that we could have had three courses at Pied a Terre, the Square, Petrus, etc. for the same price I beat I weep that this was my friends' one "nice" meal in London. We would have had better food, better service and a better time at a tenth the price if we had just gone to Bodeans up the street instead.

Thomas Secor

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Unfortunately, Corrigan is no longer cooking there and this was patently obvious

Can you clarify that, has he left or is it that you know that he no longer actually gets his hands dirty?

He hasn't left but appears to have handed the cooking over to a youngish Irish chap. He was personable enough but does not have the skill that Corrigan has at his best.

I particularly agree about the Foie Gras - after having some of the best (hungarian) at the Berkeley Square Cafe, this was watery and tasteless by comparison. Shame....

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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  • 10 months later...

I went to Lindsay House last night for a surprise 40th in one of the private dining rooms. There were 16 of us and we had the tasting menu.

I ought not to criticize, since I was a guest at this dinner, but I am going to, since it was so disappointing. The food is not experimental, it's more on a par with Racine, for example, but do you know? that is the sort of food I like to eat - as balex said in a different thread, you can't eat genius every night.

Canapes:

- shot glass of something creamy (didn't try)

- Caesar salad on a china spoon (didn't try)

- finely chopped potato salad with anchovy - delicious

- croute with chicken liver pate (didn't try)

- black pudding in a filo case, topped with melted Taleggio - nice, but for my taste should have been the spicier Scottish black pud rather than the weedier English version

Foie Gras with Apple and Lime - piece of seared foie gras, with a fan of poached apple slices with curls of dried lime zest over the apple. Lime not punchy enough to contrast with either the foie or the very sweet apple (since it was so sweet, not much was needed as contrast, so for my taste there was too much of it). My foie was very tubular, though others' were fine.

Baby Squid stuffed with Chorizo + Feta in Mussel Broth - three thumb-joint sized tubes of squidlet and one tiny gnarly tentacle - perfect size, beautifully cooked. however, cheesy sausage stuffing's texture was seriously unpleasant - sticky and pasty - wanted to scrape it off my teeth. Mussel broth was bright herby green and delicious. Three tiny garlic croutons a nice touch - used mine to mop up mussel broth, then got bread roll involved.

Scallop with spiced Carrots and Belly Pork - could have eaten this ALL NIGHT. Perfectly fresh, sweet, seared scallop. Batons of salty steamed (? maybe cooked in stock?) carrot on a splodge of cardamomy carrot puree. Small square chunk of crisp fatty belly pork. Both the pork and the scallop went brilliantly - though entirely differently - with the sweet carrot puree and the salty carrot batons.

Chicken with Asparagus and Chanterelles - dull. but then I find chicken dull generally. Poached breast, one spear of (nice) asparagus, mushroom sauce consistency of thin cream, whole mushrooms in. Rather dreadfully, not only did three of the guests have to wait a considerable time for theirs to arrive, to the point where the host had asked the rest of us to start, but at least two of the breasts were undercooked. not just a little undercooked, but actively pink.

Melon with Charentais Jelly - served in a martini glass, four small green melon balls, and if it was jelly it had melted by the time it arrived. Forgettable.

Chocolate Mousse, Buttermilk Sorbet, Cherries with Banyuls - poached cherries, fine but not awe-inspiring. Buttermilk sorbet delightful, chocolate mousse fantastic, small smooth bits of chocolate suspended in smooth rich mousse (in fact, texture not dissimilar to Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate icecream, though flavour infinitely better).

Cafetiere coffee (disappointing for me since I like the punch of espresso after dinner, but others were happy) + petits fours including a chocolate truffle whose butter was just on the turn. Blech.

so - an alarming preponderance of wrong. In some cases, very wrong. I have not said anything to my friend and her husband, but I know they too must have been disappointed. And I am certain that, based on the above, I won't ever go back. Ho well, it'll just have to be Racine for me.

Fi

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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My foie was very tubular, though others' were fine.

*turns green*

do we think the restautant might be suffering the "big party/tasting menu" effect we experienced at the square?

can anyone recommend places that can step up to the plate (tee hee) when it comes to serving great food to a larger (say 10+) group? I'm starting to think about my 30th birthday meal. Perhaps we can talk about it here

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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