Jump to content
IanT

Favourite meals of 2018

Recommended Posts

The distinction surely isn’t re. “SP style” restaurants. Classical fine dining is just as likely to take 3 hours and be the only possible event of the evening?

 

 

But I don't think that's right. When I go to a L'Ambroisie, yes, I order half portions, and a long menu, and it takes three hours. That was the case with some other patrons when I went there, but not the case with others (a similar example at L'Arpege is seeing a couple order a lobster and bottle of wine each, that's it). Contrast with Willows Inn - where everyone is seated at the same time (or a slight stagger), and dishes are precisely timed with all deviations being pre-planned. It's a wonderful meal, but one that has as singular primary purposes. It's not a great place for a business meeting, or a date, or a good place to tuck into a single plate of something both immaculate and comforting (unless you want a half portion, in which case they can do that). Or, if someone told you that you could only eat at L'Ambroisie or Brooklyn Fare, I think you'd probably choose Brooklyn Fare. Now, if someone said that you had to choose one or the other for three consecutive meals, I think that the choice may be different. I don't mean that as an implicit critique of the Brooklyn Fares, it's more that an SP style restaurant is built for a different purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The distinction surely isn’t re. “SP style” restaurants. Classical fine dining is just as likely to take 3 hours and be the only possible event of the evening?

 

 

But I don't think that's right. When I go to a L'Ambroisie, yes, I order half portions, and a long menu, and it takes three hours. That was the case with some other patrons when I went there, but not the case with others (a similar example at L'Arpege is seeing a couple order a lobster and bottle of wine each, that's it). Contrast with Willows Inn - where everyone is seated at the same time (or a slight stagger), and dishes are precisely timed with all deviations being pre-planned. It's a wonderful meal, but one that has as singular primary purposes. It's not a great place for a business meeting, or a date, or a good place to tuck into a single plate of something both immaculate and comforting (unless you want a half portion, in which case they can do that). Or, if someone told you that you could only eat at L'Ambroisie or Brooklyn Fare, I think you'd probably choose Brooklyn Fare. Now, if someone said that you had to choose one or the other for three consecutive meals, I think that the choice may be different. I don't mean that as an implicit critique of the Brooklyn Fares, it's more that an SP style restaurant is built for a different purpose.

Hard to argue with any of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to the REAL subject here:   I still don't understand how Ian does all this.

If I told you that I also launched a new law firm at the end of 2017...

 

Nah, it’s not so mysterious. Kids were all old enough last year to be left with nanny/granny/aunt for occasional nights out/weekends away. And I was in NYC a few times with work (my wife flew over for a weekend once when we hit BF, EMP and SGO). 2019 will be quieter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

our best meal in london in june--traveling with our own kids and so nothing remotely ambitious on the radar--was probably at tandoor chophouse. i might even get around to writing that meal up this month.

 

 

 

 

 

back to me: i did write that tandoor chop house meal up. here.

 

tandoor-chop-house-lamb-ribs.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

our best meal in london in june--traveling with our own kids and so nothing remotely ambitious on the radar--was probably at tandoor chophouse. i might even get around to writing that meal up this month.

 

 

 

 

 

back to me: i did write that tandoor chop house meal up. here.

 

tandoor-chop-house-lamb-ribs.jpg

 

I walk by this restaurant on the way to/from work but haven't ever thought to go.  Partly due to Jay's review, partly due to liking the reliable/good value Dishoom nearby (their breakfast is surprisingly excellent, particularly the filled naans...)  I will give it a go on your recommendation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for what it's worth, i liked my one meal at tandoor chop house far, far more than my one meal at dishoom. of course, it's a more limited palette at tandoor chop house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ian, did you give tandoor chop house a go yet?

 

--

 

here is my final restaurant report from our london trip last june. if tandoor chop house had not received glowing reviews from the local media, talli joe has and given the general high standards for mod'ish indian restaurants in london we were expecting to enjoy our meal there. it was our last meal of the trip eaten with the (indian) friends we stayed with for part of the trip, who are generally far less critical than me of most things. they were not impressed either. herewith the details which include more thoughts on the New Indian Exotica aesthetic.

 

steve, you'll be interested to know that the kids both got butter chicken and liked it a lot.

 

talli-joe-gol-baari-kosha-mangsho.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ian.

 

The Ledbury was quite wonderful. Great cooking there.

 

But BRAT was our favorite meal and most enjoyable restaurant experience of our London stay.  Bibendum (but the oyster bar for lunch) was only so-so.

 

Both of those restaurants beat out St. John for food, this time around, though I did have some great hogget chops. The menu just wasn't that moving on the night we were there, and I missed out on one of the specials by not getting there earlier.

 

Barrafina for a quick lunch was also quite good and plenty casual. Nobel Rot fine again.

 

Jerusalem Tavern muy bueno.

 

The Van Gogh spectacular at Tate Britain was spectacular. And your National Gallery is awesome...2 Vermeers worth the visit alone, but also a fabulous Boilly exhibit - and all those Rembrandts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to be of service Joe!

 

Brat is excellent, it's made it onto the short-list of London places I recommend to visitors.  

 

Two other newer places that are now close to that list are:

 

- Endo at the Rotunda: We had our first meal there last night and it was excellent.  Modern kaisekei style in a beautiful purpose built room on top of the old BBC Television Centre in Sheperds Bush.  Sushi in London will always be limited by the non-availability of fish from Japan but this is less of a limiting factor with this style.  A much more enjoyable meal vs. our meal at Araki (which had 3* at the time) earlier this year. Delicious and fun.  Our after-dinner drink at the bar was made a lot funnier by a couple in an apartment on the other side of the Rotunda deciding it was the right time to have sex with the lights on and curtains open (note, this performance can't be guaranteed for every dinner).

 

- Flor: Casual restaurant/wine-bar/bakery at Borough Market from the team behind Lyles. Straight in near the top of London mid-range restaurants. Great ingredients sensitively handled, I've been a lot, sometimes just for a coffee ane one of their fantastic pastries (fig with fig leaf creme pat, honey and raw cream and the lardy bun are all superb).  I was in hospital for almost a month this summer which was a pain, but some silver lining was that the hospital was in London Bridge and that area is just full of good restaurants now.

 

The Ritz has been getting a lot of praise recently (particularly from Andy Hayler) but I had a disappointing dinner there last month.  Well, it was exactly what I always presumed dinner at the Ritz would be like, which is why I hadn't been after 15 years living in London. But disappointing in terms of how AH (and, to be fair, a few others) have talked about it for the past couple of years.

 

Very good meals at The Fat Duck (first time in 10 years) and Waterside Inn (the Ritz could learn some lessons about how to do this kind of thing...) in May.

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a very notably fantastic meal at Lyles a month or two ago and I really really recommend it.  I'm interested in checking out the Noble Rot takeover of the Gay Hussar.  I continue to have great meals at Jamavar and return there again and again for Indian- its worlds away from NYC indian and certainly easier to get into than some of the much talked about spots in London.  I want to get to Ikoyi, but I haven't been. I had a great meal at Restaurant Story, but that was a couple years ago.  Also on my list to try: P Franco, Honey & Smoke (though this global Israeli trend has been very hit or miss for me), Terroirs Wine Bar, Elliots.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...