Friday, 7 June 2013

Pied a Terre

I went for lunch today at Pied à Terre which " reportedly one of London's best value lunch menus for Michelin star dining.". Unfortunately, it was so good it didn't actually end up being as bargainous as I thought. Now, I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Far from it. It exceeded my expectations for a lunch by so much we were there for over two hours savouring every bite.

We should have realised this was going to be no ordinary lunch as soon as the fresh truffle croquette (a delightful crispy, earthy mouthful) and scallop ball appeared. Canapés at a lunch? With truffle? My my.

Now gnocchi are one of my (many) weaknesses, so there was simply no chance of me not having the chestnut gnocchi. They were billowy pillows lightly fried anointed with Parmesan. The mushroom vinaigrette and the slivers of spring truffle accompanied them perfectly. It made for quite an autumnal dish but so delicate it was perfect for a mild June afternoon.

I'd had a quick perusal of the menu on-line before going and had decided on the rabbit for the main course. Unfortunately it had been replaced by pork belly, the ubiquity of which is making less of an automatic choice. Instead I had to "make-do" with the perfectly roasted fillet of sea-bream. This came with salt baked celeriac and a silky smooth asparagus and Parmesan cream. Delicious.

Oh and the bread! At least five freshly-baked (as in still-warm-from-the-oven) types continuously offered during the first two courses. Are you sure this is the set lunch?

By now dessert was a foregone conclusion. But first, of course, the pre-dessert, a pair of sublime quenelles: coconut ice cream and mango sorbet. The white chocolate tart with poached rhubarb and a rhubarb sorbet that followed wasn't bad either. The tart was actually a white chocolate custard tart with a brûléed top, not what I was expecting but perfectly executed: thin crisp pastry, a layer of rhubarb purée and a ridiculously smooth and just barely set centre.

Coffee was accompanied by a seemingly never ending selection of petits fours: a mango jelly, lemon tart, white chocolate fudge, fresh cinnamon doughnuts and a coconut truffle. And don't forget this was just lunch. Seriously.

The service throughout was impeccable and friendly. A simply faultless meal exceeding all expectations. What a lunch. I need to find an "excuse to go again". You simply must go if you have any appreciation for good food. But just don't go expecting to have "just" the set lunch...

Pied à Terre on Urbanspoon

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