Monday, February 22, 2010

Terroirs, London

I finally had my third meal at Terroirs and really wish I had been more often since it opened especially when I think about how many poor meals and unimaginative wine lists I have been subjected to over the past six months.

On my most recent visit last week I started with the Cantabrian Anchovies , Shallots & Unsalted Butter , this is great starter that gets your taste buds racing for what is to come. To follow I enjoyed a really delicious Cassoulet finishing off with some cheese, Fourme d’Ambert, Rocamadour, Soumaintrain and Saint Nectaire . My only quibble was the Toulouse sausage in the Cassoulet was not good enough and maybe not even a genuine Toulouse however the other meats were perfect.

My companion had a Selection of Charcuterie that included Duck Rillettes ,Saucisson “Noir de Bigorre” and Pork & Pistachio Terrine. He then had a fabulous roast Quail dish and also finished off with cheese.

We drank a glass of Champagne Philipponnat Royale Réserve Brut followed by a superb Trinchero Barbera d'Asti 2003 ending with a glass of 2007 Moscato d’Asti, Vigna Vecchia, Ca’ da Gal.

This was my first meal in the downstairs section of Terroirs and it was as good as the other meals I have enjoyed upstairs . For me Terroirs ticks all the boxes, a very good well chosen wine list with simple well selected , procured and executed dishes complimented by very high levels of service.

Terroirs has a simple Philosophy: Great food and great wine sourced with an eager eye for provenance and as long as they continue to deliver they will have my regular custom.

Terroirs on Urbanspoon

Dean Street Townhouse, London

I thought I was going to get away without having to review Dean Street Townhouse because having eaten here twice before I was confident that the required third meal could be avoided.

The reason for my third meal was a lunch with Helen the author of the brilliant World Foodie Guide . We were limited to Soho for the venue and somehow we settled on Dean Street Townhouse.

The Dean Street Townhouse has on the whole received very positive reviews but closer reading of the reviews may lead you to conclude that the food is no great shakes.

Well let me be very clear about the food , it is really awful in a nutshell poor quality ingredients more often than not very badly executed.The restaurant dinning room is really quite delightful and "clubby" but the kitchen seems to be unable to produce food that even matches those of Soho , Electric , Shoreditch , High Road and Babbington Houses !

My advice is go for some Oysters and a grilled Dover sole any dishes requiring a skilled cook/chef and good procurement are likely to disappoint.

For my most recent meal I started with twice baked haddock Souffle - it was not what I would call a souffle but I can confirm it had haddock in it followed by Pork cheeks with parsnip mash, glazed carrots and cider . The pork was of very poor quality and the sauce seemed to have been thickened with copious amounts of corn starch.

Other dishes I have tried chicken pie , salt beef , steak and roast chicken all average at best but frankly piss poor.

One wonders if there is any incentive for the Soho House Group to improve the food when reviews have largely been positive , the room is lovely, service is excellent and the place is fully booked with a good smattering of minor and major celebrities ?

I suspect Dean Street Townhouse Dinning Room has already achieved in a few months what Brasserie Lipp in Paris founded in 1880 has , a beautiful chic restaurant , great atmosphere serving dire food whilst still remaining popular .

Dean Street Townhouse on Urbanspoon