FOMO. I’ve got it. You’ve got it. We’re all running around with a hefty dose of it, perhaps thinking about our working lives, social lives, personal lives, or in my case, my eating life. Life in Surrey as a family with the sprog is idyllic but where I once avidly read food blogs and kept my eye on the foodie pulse, I’m now becoming more familiar with my own kitchen and what foods I can pulverise into mash so the sprog will eat them. I won’t lie, I hanker a little for the old foodie me.
Pied a Terre has been on my list for some time, but because of the previously referred to FOMO and trying to keep up with all the trends and the openings and the what nots, I’ll admit, Pied a Terre kept sliding along the list.
Do you have a list? You know, the list of all the places you want to go to, the trends you’ve read about, the hot spots you’re lining up for a special occasion. My list is so long it’s probably just simpler to say “I want to go EVERYWHERE” and leave it at that.
It’s a pretty room, subtly and tastefully decorated and still a little quiet when we arrive.
The sprog has a doting grandmother with him for the night so we’re rubbing our hands with glee and determined to live our date night up to the very max. This means kicking off with a Bellini for me and a G&T for the hubby, while we peruse the menu and try and decide what we fancy.
Greed and the giddiness of being out in a gorgeous restaurant sans the child meant that we opted for the chef’s tasting menu complete with matching wines. The volume and quality of food surpassed even my wildest expectations of living it up!
First up, a slice of gooey cheesy focaccia. Somehow I never learn not to indulge in the bread, when I know a lot of gorgeous food is coming up, but in this case I can’t quite bring myself to regret it either. We had a selection of snacks, a leek & potato croquette, tapioca squid ink crackers and a pot of Jerusalem artichoke cream with lemon and parsley and topped with the most incredible artichoke crisps. Needless to say, all of these were impeccable but the little pot of artichokey goodness sang to me!
First up, a delicate combo of Crab, Lardo, some radish and a sprinkling of caviar on top. The lightness of the crab went beautifully with the rich lardo and caviar and left us wanting more.
The Foie Gras was one of the dishes we had our eye on with the tasting menu and I admit to absolutely loving this dish and I think Pied a Terre’s version would convince even the most arden foie gras hater. Silken smooth as expected with the most delicate consomme which complemented its richness with some smooth onions to provide a bit of a bite.
These were paired with White Burgundy from Villa Huesgen hailing all the way from Germany. I love that the sommelier came out to tell us what the wine was after we were finishing our glass so that we had no prior expectations on what the wine was before we started. And given how easy drinking it was, we were happy enough putting our wine choices in his hands!
Our first main of Turbot was cooked perfectly and since husband expressed his dislike of mushrooms, his option came without the morels, more fool him really as I love the combination of a juicy mushroom flavour with a well seasoned piece of fish, washed down with a very welcome Viognier.
Andy McFadden is the head chef here and what I’m loving about his food is that it isn’t chasing any trends, it’s not trying to be cool, it’s letting the food and the quality way it’s all been put together speak for itself. Our Suckling pig cooked 3 ways is not revolutionary but whoa, it is good! I love the pork loin and the pork belly but I did feel the chorizo was a little overpowering for me, but then the husband said that was his favourite part so he happily ate my leftover piece!
They brought out the whole smoked Squab out for us to see before they carved it up and the pigeon was moist and served up with a fruity concoction of prune, lavender and orange. It’s a lot lighter than I expected for a game-y dish and so fresh and flavourful.
By this time, we were full to the point of bursting and so we opted for a bit of a break before hitting the cheeseboard, plenty of time to enjoy our glass of Syrah that had accompanied the pigeon.
While we were wining, David Moore, owner and restaurateur extraordinaire stopped by for a chat and we were so engaged in our gossip that I failed to notice David had accidentally drunk my wine instead of his! Luckily the sommelier was paying more attention than the rest of us were and after our fit of giggles over this little interlude, instead of a replacement wine I decided that what I really wanted was a rare treat of dessert wine to go with my cheese. I don’t often drink dessert wine but since I’m already living the high life, why not right?
We share a plate of Brie and Epoisse with some crispy crackers, which comes in the most lovely oak tree trunk holder.
I wished that I was not full to bursting by this point but as everyone knows, the dessert stomach is a different stomach to the mains stomach and so we gamely tuck in.
The strawberry sorbet is sweet and fruity and is tempered by the rich vanilla ice-cream. I couldn’t manage too much of the chocolate one I must admit, I was just full and the combination of all that lovely wine, food and cheese were sloshing around in me and all I could really think of was curling up and resting my sleepy head.
We finished everything off with an exquisite collection of petit fours and some fresh mint tea was just what my digestive system needed to recover! We were even generously given some petit fours to take home for the babysitting grandmother and they went down a treat. She’s lucky we were so full otherwise there would have been a pretty high risk of them being eaten before we got home!
Stuffed to the brim and more, we made our way home full of bonhomie and I learned to not get so carried away on the train of FOMO to forget about all those amazing places that are sexy by way of steadfast amazingness in the face of constant change. That’s not a bad lesson to take away from a great date night now, is it?
Disclosure: We were guests of Pied a Terre, opinions as always are my own.