The menu looked very promising, choosing what to have was the only issue. I decided to forgo a starter and save room for pudding for a very good reason; the head chef here had, at one time, been the second best pastry chef in France. I'm not sure anyone would ignore the pudding menu knowing that.
When I order lamb cutlets with dauphenoise and green beans that is exactly what I expect to get and I prepare myself for what I imagine will turn up in front of me. I was delivered exactly what I had ordered, with no extra frills or fuss, just beautiful ingredients treated with respect. The juicy lamb was pink inside with a wonderful smoky flavour from the griddle, the dauphenoise tasted incredible with a beautiful soft texture and the beans still had a little crunch and sweetness. The jus was rich, dark and unctuous and they weren't shy with it either. You can get some strange looks extracting a magnifying glass and trying to locate a few dribbles of jus strewn around the plate. It would have been improved if the smoked bacon (around the beans) had crispy rather than gelatinous fat but I ate it anyway.
There was also a venison burger on the table and although I didn't get to try any, I did manage to pinch an onion ring. I'm not sure there are the words to describe this onion ring. It was immense. Soft, sweet, juicy onion and hot, salty, crispy batter. Absolutely the epitome of onion rings.
I think it is only fair that you share in my dessert dilemma. This is what I had to choose from: Chocolate Moelleux, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch sauce, Lavender Crème brûlée with Cardamom Shortbread and Apple Tarte Tatin. Fortuitously one of my favourite desserts is Tarte Tatin and I loved this one. It delivered on flavour without being too fussy; rustic I suppose you'd call it. There wasn't quite enough caramel for me but it was still extremely pleasurable.
When you're low on the beverage front, you save a teensy little dreg at the bottom of the glass and you're looking forward to drinking that tiny little bit later on it is most irritating when it is taken away from you. When you order a cheese board and you're quite looking forward to the chutney its absence from the board it can be slightly bothersome. Both of these situations occurred during our meal. Trying to rectify either of the aforementioned situations may result in aspersions being cast that you are somewhat of a penny pinching, menu scanning and stingy tight wad. In fact you are actually rather thirsty, desperately eating celery to hydrate you and all the while thinking the cheese would be so much nicer with a smidgen of acidic fruity goodness.
I very much enjoyed the food, the service was excellent and I will be going back for more. Great ingredients treated simply and cooked well. Lovely jubbly.