Restaurants

Started by Slim, October 28, 2022, 09:54:10 PM

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Slim

I thought a thread for restaurants and other eating establishments might be in order.

Today, 'er indoors and I went to a place called Stella's Kitchen, featured in a Hairy Bikers episode about a year ago, for lunch.



It's a very unpretentious little place where food is served in a little conservatory tacked onto a farmhouse in the Peak District. Friends of ours went a while back and recommended it, and although it's a 120 mile round trip, we thought it would be a fun afternoon out.

African/Carribean food is not really my sort of thing usually but I had a spicy roast chicken leg with rice and plantains. It was really good. Not expensive, either. You can take your own drink (we took Asahi and Rioja in a wine cooler bag).

There were only four guests present while we were there - ourselves and a young couple from Nottingham - and Stella came to talk to us at some length about how being on the telly had boosted her business, how COVID had affected it, how difficult it was to get planning permission to build the conservatory (previously she'd hosted diners in her actual kitchen) and how she'd defied the authorities by having it built bigger than she was allowed to.

We probably wouldn't go again unless were were visiting Buxton or something given the distance, but it was definitely a worthwhile experience. And the SatNav sent us back over a cross-country route with some terrific views.


Slim

Dinner at San Giovanni last night. Really a lovely place about ten miles from us at a village called Sheepy Magna. Beautifully situated next to a lake (or is it a large pond?) and it's very nice to sit outside in warm weather. Has a very nice cocktail bar as well.

Italian food. I had some sort of grilled chicken dish followed by a cherry crumble. Washed it all down with an Old Fashioned.

I sometimes drop in for a drink when I pass through Sheepy on a bike.

Nickslikk2112

As everyone well knows, I am a veritable bon viveur and gourmand, an habitue of the Michelin starred restaurants.

A couple of years ago, I planned to take Mrs S to the Michelin starred restaurant of Niklas Ekstedt in Stockholm, that's Sweden, but COVID came along and scuppered that. In the meantime, Ekstedt opened up a branch of his Restaurant in London's Great Scotland Yard Hotel, so being as we had a trip down to see Opeth - from Stockholm, Sweden - I booked us in there. Now unfortunately this would mean slumming it as it has not been awarded a Michelin star. Would we cope?

If you're unfamiliar with Ekstedt's schtick, then it involves cooking over wood fires and wood fired ovens, making use of seasonal and pickled products, all very Scandi wild man. Does this translate to fine dining?

Before attacking the 9 course tasting menu, we were presented with an appetiser board of smoked venison, pickled salsify and pickled tomatoes. All very sharp and smoky. Whetted the old appetite.

First course up was "Snacks from the Fire" consisting of ember baked leeks with black pudding, a cep mushroom beignet with smoked cream cheese and a hay smoked custard with trout roe onion and chives. The mushroom beignet was deelicious. These posh restaurants always do doughnuts well.

Next up was Flamnadou Oyster. Now, I must confess Oysters have completely passed me and Mrs S by. We like Scallops, but other shellfish don't appear in our diet. Flambadou is an old technique where a cast iron cone is heated until red hot, then beef tallow is put in and allowed to drizzle over and caramelise the outside of your chosen meat, Oyster in this case. The Oyster is then served in shell with a creamy beurre blanc and smoked apple sauce with nasturtium leaves for a peppery kick. I'm an Oyster convert, the taste of the sea a creamy, smoky appley sauce and the peppery nasturtium made a divine morsel. Bravo.

Following this could have been a let down, I mean ember baked beetroot with pickled walnuts and juniper cooked Kale. I don't care for any of those ingredients and yet the crispy kale was a revelation with the sweet smoky beetroot pepped up by the pickled walnuts. Not as good as the Oyster but very nice.

Course four was smoked Lobster with sweetcorn and black truffle. The Lobster meat has also been cooked by the flambadou method and was meltingly soft and sweet melding well with the sweetcorn puree and mushroom medley. Another hit.

Course five? Course cop out! Sourdough bread with home cultured butter, whey and birch oil. OK it's nice bread - not as good as Midsummer House - but it's not really a course is it? And I got why and birch oil all over my nice pink strides >:(

Next up was Hay smoked British sirloin with flamed bitter leaves and shallot puree. Not too shabby. Steak was cooked well and nicely smoky and how these chefs get a shallot puree to be an object of gustatory desire I knoweth not.

Course seven was a pre-dessert of wood oven baked oats with woodruff mousse and sorrel sorbet. Could have been oatier, but the savoury edge to the woodruff made it a nice bridging course.

Course eight was the main dessert Pumpkin custard with a cardamom doughnut and sea buckthorn sorbet, Nom, nom, nom. The custard was served in a small pumpkin and was rather nice, but the doughnut was something else. How do they do that.

And finally a selection of Coffee Snacks - but no coffee. These were a smoked liquorice fudge, a strange carrot macaron, a cherry tart and a smoked chocolate on a stock which was sensationally good for a little bite, almost a distillation of the entire meal.

Overall, I'd say that was as good as anywhere we have eaten and as an occasional treat it was worth it, we'd go again and you can't really get better than that. Also the matched wine pairing of six glasses, you don't get one with the snacks and one sweet wine does both desserts was the best we've ever had. We got Barolo with the sirloin which made Mrs S very happy, she likes Barolo. I enjoyed the Portuguese Alvarino with the Oyster.

Slim

Just been to the Bulls Head at Woodhouse Eaves. Just the two courses :)

We both had smoked haddock florentine fishcakes, with a poached egg and fries. To follow I had a lemon meringue, raspberry and salted caramel cheesecake trio while 'er indoors had a Sicilian lemon posset. Nothing fancy but a nice change for a Saturday.

They have Asahi on draught in there, though Mrs G preferred the Sauvignon Blanc.

Last Sunday we went to an Indian place in Coalville called Thawa after finding that the Cinnamon Tree at Battram had closed down. Thawa is a much more basic affair where you can take your own beer. The food there is really good though and it's inexpensive. I had a veggie biryani. I took a large bottle of Leffe.

The Picnic Wasp

Quote from: Nickslikk2112 on November 26, 2022, 12:41:29 PMAs everyone well knows, I am a veritable bon viveur and gourmand, an habitue of the Michelin starred restaurants.

A couple of years ago, I planned to take Mrs S to the Michelin starred restaurant of Niklas Ekstedt in Stockholm, that's Sweden, but COVID came along and scuppered that. In the meantime, Ekstedt opened up a branch of his Restaurant in London's Great Scotland Yard Hotel, so being as we had a trip down to see Opeth - from Stockholm, Sweden - I booked us in there. Now unfortunately this would mean slumming it as it has not been awarded a Michelin star. Would we cope?

If you're unfamiliar with Ekstedt's schtick, then it involves cooking over wood fires and wood fired ovens, making use of seasonal and pickled products, all very Scandi wild man. Does this translate to fine dining?

Before attacking the 9 course tasting menu, we were presented with an appetiser board of smoked venison, pickled salsify and pickled tomatoes. All very sharp and smoky. Whetted the old appetite.

First course up was "Snacks from the Fire" consisting of ember baked leeks with black pudding, a cep mushroom beignet with smoked cream cheese and a hay smoked custard with trout roe onion and chives. The mushroom beignet was deelicious. These posh restaurants always do doughnuts well.

Next up was Flamnadou Oyster. Now, I must confess Oysters have completely passed me and Mrs S by. We like Scallops, but other shellfish don't appear in our diet. Flambadou is an old technique where a cast iron cone is heated until red hot, then beef tallow is put in and allowed to drizzle over and caramelise the outside of your chosen meat, Oyster in this case. The Oyster is then served in shell with a creamy beurre blanc and smoked apple sauce with nasturtium leaves for a peppery kick. I'm an Oyster convert, the taste of the sea a creamy, smoky appley sauce and the peppery nasturtium made a divine morsel. Bravo.

Following this could have been a let down, I mean ember baked beetroot with pickled walnuts and juniper cooked Kale. I don't care for any of those ingredients and yet the crispy kale was a revelation with the sweet smoky beetroot pepped up by the pickled walnuts. Not as good as the Oyster but very nice.

Course four was smoked Lobster with sweetcorn and black truffle. The Lobster meat has also been cooked by the flambadou method and was meltingly soft and sweet melding well with the sweetcorn puree and mushroom medley. Another hit.

Course five? Course cop out! Sourdough bread with home cultured butter, whey and birch oil. OK it's nice bread - not as good as Midsummer House - but it's not really a course is it? And I got why and birch oil all over my nice pink strides >:(

Next up was Hay smoked British sirloin with flamed bitter leaves and shallot puree. Not too shabby. Steak was cooked well and nicely smoky and how these chefs get a shallot puree to be an object of gustatory desire I knoweth not.

Course seven was a pre-dessert of wood oven baked oats with woodruff mousse and sorrel sorbet. Could have been oatier, but the savoury edge to the woodruff made it a nice bridging course.

Course eight was the main dessert Pumpkin custard with a cardamom doughnut and sea buckthorn sorbet, Nom, nom, nom. The custard was served in a small pumpkin and was rather nice, but the doughnut was something else. How do they do that.

And finally a selection of Coffee Snacks - but no coffee. These were a smoked liquorice fudge, a strange carrot macaron, a cherry tart and a smoked chocolate on a stock which was sensationally good for a little bite, almost a distillation of the entire meal.

Overall, I'd say that was as good as anywhere we have eaten and as an occasional treat it was worth it, we'd go again and you can't really get better than that. Also the matched wine pairing of six glasses, you don't get one with the snacks and one sweet wine does both desserts was the best we've ever had. We got Barolo with the sirloin which made Mrs S very happy, she likes Barolo. I enjoyed the Portuguese Alvarino with the Oyster.


Every word of this places me in a state of total jealousy with the exception of the pink trousers.



Nickslikk2112

Quote from: The Picnic Wasp on November 26, 2022, 11:13:40 PMEvery word of this places me in a state of total jealousy with the exception of the pink trousers.



I'm sure you'd like good in pink trousers :) I'd got a pinkish jacket on too and a shirt with pink flowers on.

captainkurtz

I've got a reservation for L'enclume in Cartmel in January for my Wife's birthday.  I'm a bit perturbed about the amount of pig on the tasting menus...will have to email them.

Anyone been before?  My first 3* restaurant.  I've found there's a big jump from one to two..hoping for a similar jump to three.  Minus the pig.

Nickslikk2112

Quote from: captainkurtz on November 27, 2022, 07:58:05 PMI've got a reservation for L'enclume in Cartmel in January for my Wife's birthday.  I'm a bit perturbed about the amount of pig on the tasting menus...will have to email them.

Anyone been before?  My first 3* restaurant.  I've found there's a big jump from one to two..hoping for a similar jump to three.  Minus the pig.
Can't tell you what it's like, I'm booked in for my 60th in April. Will bits of pig keep for three months, if so, I'll have them :)

captainkurtz

The chef has apparently been informed that I don't dig the pig...

Fishy

Shout out to our local chippy The Lucky Star.. just an awesome dressed fish supper tonight ...
From The Land of Honest Men

Slim

Went to a place called the Exeter Arms near Stamford on Sunday. A sort of yearly get together with my brothers and their families. The food arrived on a big board and you had to help yourself. Quite a cosy little place and the food was thoroughly adequate. They even do a few cocktails, although there's a very limited selection and none of what I would regard as classics (Old Fashioned, Margerita, Vodka Martini, Cosmo etc).

captainkurtz

A last minute unforeseen medical issue meant I had to cancel our reservation at L'enclume for this evening.  I called and apologised and accepted they'd need to charge my card.

Astonishingly, they emailed back a short while after and said whilst they'd charge my card, they would carry that forward as a credit for the next 6 months - and that I should call when I have a date in mind and they would accommodate us.

That is outstanding customer service and has made an upsetting and stressful 24 hours a little better...