After much anticipation and waiting and impatient we dined at Le Gavroche on Tuesday. We were celebrating our first anniversary, we had planned it even before we got married which is kind of silly!
We booked for the set lunch menu which was very good value at £48 per person including half bottle of wine each and coffee and petit fours. Due to the attentiveness of the staff and the rather formal atmosphere I didn’t take any pictures of our meal , save for the petit fours, but I can assure you they were beautifully presented!
To start we had champagne and were bought some pretty little appetisers. Some kind of soft cheese with quince jelly and pistachios on a little toasted cracker (I am not sure exactly what the cracker was but I don’t think my explanation does it justice!) and celeriac remoulade in a pastry cup with a soft boiled quails egg. Delicious, I could have eaten the quince jelly all day!
After we had ordered our starters and mains we were presented with an amuse bouche – rabbit terrine with olive tapenade on a long very crispy crouton. I am not much of a fan of terrines in general but in a restaurant like this they are always good, the olive tapenade was extremely rich and worked really well.
For started I plumped for the herb risotto with veal belly, the risotto was different to any risotto I’ve had before. It was flavoured with light herbs and what I think was the roasting juices of the veal which gave it a really amazing slightly barbecued flavour – the fact that I have waxed lyrical about risotto before even going onto the veal shows you how good it was. The veal belly was so tender, small slices- crisp on the outside and soft on the inside served with the roasting juices/ gravy around the risotto – I’ve never had veal before and what way to start eating it!
My husband had salmon tartare which was served in a light cream sauce with caviar (the lucky sod!) on top. Obviously I had to try some so I could tell you about it, and it was excellent – light but creamy and very different to the usual salmon starters you find in most restaurants.
For main I ordered roast fillet of pollack with lobster jus and crushed potatoes – accompanied by the best cooked broccoli I’ve ever had, seriously, I think it was cooked in stock and was just right, not mushy but not undercooked. The fish was perfectly flaky, fresh and the lobster jus was really rich, unfortunately I was only treated to a single piece of lobster underneath my fish, more lobster please! Having said that if I had asked I am sure they would have bought a long a small bowl of lobster, damn I should have asked for more lobster.
Pork au poivre served with pomme mousseline, fondant caulifower and mustard cream sauce was the hubbys choice. Fondant cauliflower was something of a revelation, so creamy and well flavoured with a slight crispness on the outside, something I need to try making – which I may fail at. The potato was light as air and the pork cooked perfectly pink.
For dessert we both chose the Apple Charlotte with Calvados sorbet. Not being familiar with it I didn’t know it was made with bread rather than pastry, being so crisp, sweet and butter I was sure it was pastry but no it was bread. The apples inside were cooked til soft and flavoured with spices, just right against the crisp outside. The sorbet was very strongly flavoured with calvados, almost like drinking it but with a nice creamy texture!
We finished with a cappuccino each, unable to continue drinking the wine, shameful! I’m not really sure how much we drank each as they like to keep your wine at the same level throughout, very precise service.
The petit fours were just lovely, I was aghast when I saw that the table next to us had disregarded theirs and left without touching them – awful!
The petit fours were made up of a delicate peppered brandy snap, praline macaron, toffee cape gooseberry and a mini madeline. The brandy snap was my favourite, the pepper was a lovely surprise. The toffee cape gooseberry was an inspired idea but they were a bit too sour for me, maybe more caramel is required? Or maybe I just have a ridiculous sweet tooth.
We left feeling full, not stuffed, just right, and possibly a little tipsy. I want to go back right away, next anniversary maybe, although we are talking about visiting the Waterside instead, we like to plan ahead with our fine dining….