I was looking forward to this visit because they had closed for a month (was supposed to be two) for remodeling. Turned out they only remodeled the front part (the Bubbledogs part). So, my visit was overdue in a sense. Plus, it was the middle of summer, which is prime season for many local ingredients.
They first presented some pure tomato water from Isle of Wight tomatoes garnished with house-made fig leaf oil. This was served as each guest was seated (i.e., not all at the same time). This was a nice way to start with something refreshing (other than a drink).
The opening dish was Cornish brown crab, steamed and the brown and white meat separated. At the bottom was some of the brown meat with crème fraiche. On top was the white meat mixed with pineapple weed, a salad of dill and lemon verbena, and a garnish of salted gooseberries and cucumber marinated in dill. At the counter, they finished the dish with a chilled light lemon verbena sauce.
The next bite was lightly smoked quail egg, topped with a shallot filled with black vinegar infused with winter black truffles along with some chervil. Underneath the egg was black garlic purée, with all of this sitting on a spiral of crispy potatoes.
After starting off with the house-labeled English pink sparkling wine, I switched to a glass of the 2007 Paul Pillot Chardonnay.
The next snack was the chicken skin wafers with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam. While this has always been on the menu, this is the first time I’ve seen it served as a “sandwich”.
The Parker House rolls were next, first shown just out of the oven. These were served with whipped butter mixed with aged lamb fat and tomatoes barbequed in lamb fat. The butter was topped with pickled wild garlic buds and onion oil made from green onion tops.
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