La Fromagerie, Marylebone, London – 20 July 2013

On a visit to London in 2011 I think, I was happy to stay in the Marylebone area of London. And I loved it. So when the missus said to me, where are we going now, after havng showed Emil, Big Ben, I said – Marylebone !!!

IMG_5840-001

This one is for you my dear Emil

Bridge over troubled water.

Bridge over troubled water.

Marylebone is like a little hideaway, starting 50 meters off the end of Oxford Street, down – opposite of Marble Arch. The first part is STUFFED with all kinds of etnic restaurants, many of those offering water pipes. Emil was fast to claim that he wanted to try one of those. His mother was just as quick in rejecting that request. Later on it turns into a shopping area with shop that looks like shops should look . A book store that reminds one why it is nice to actually visit one instead of ordering via amazon.

I remembered where the cooking book section was...

I remembered where the cooking book section was…

And Emil had fun with this little book.

And Emil had fun with this little book.

As we came further up the road, I remembered having seen a funny little diner/shop last time. So we went down the corner and yup 20 meters of the high street was La Fromagerie.

THE shop !

THE shop !

It was closed last time I was here, but now the shop was full of life. Vegetables, pickled everything, freshly baked bread, cooking books, wines, a cheese department, charcuteri. Everything a man could hope for. And most of this stuff organic. Beside the shop part of the business, there are two rooms with tables and benches. Add to all that a large menu and even a small wine list

What to eat...

What to eat…

Green stuff

Green stuff

Open kitchen

Open kitchen

Cheese Department

Cheese Department

All kinds of stuff

All kinds of stuff

All kinds of people

All kinds of people

Well, we settled for a rillette of mackerel, a cheese plate with Italian cheeses and a fennel / red beet salad. The were 4-5 different cheese selections to choose from, there were all kinds of salads. In general I was releaved when I saw the menu. This was something for the missus. When that is said, we did not find any gluten-free bread, and Emil struggled to find something he wanted. Well blame that on the up-bringing of course, but it was not a child-friendly place anyway, with the small alleys and things to break. But Emil loved the “limonade” that was done on spot for him, and the chips.

Say cheese

Say cheese

Salad

Salad

Happy Emil !

Happy Emil !

Italian Chardonnay

Italian Chardonnay

The kind waitress actually warned us about the wine I chose. It is not your usual easy drinkable Chardonnay she claimed. Its a little full and rich for lunch maybe. Well actually it was nice, the colour very intense, seemed like they had a lot of sun in Piemonte that year. We liked it.

Conclusion:

As I said to the young couple at the table next to us. If I lived in Marylebone, I would be in this shop every second day. Great menu, great vibe, great quality and just about nothing to complain about. If I shall just mention that the salad as fresh and good as it looked could have used more acidity. The cheeses were wonderful so was the rilette. Great service and a smell of freshly baked bread in the air. This is where you wanna lunch in London.

I know my family sometimes have to bear with me – a lot – because of the focus I do seem to give to eating – but this shop, I think it even impressed the missus. I am sorry dear A for all those restaurants and food trips I have dragged you on. I thank you for mostly being a good sport about it. Well, If I had one dream left in my world, not related to my family, – it would be to own a shop like this. .

My rating for this visit: Food 6.5p (10), service 4p (5), ambience 4.5p (5), 15p (20)

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Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets, Gigondas, France – July 2012

Where the stars do not mean anything – or as my friend said – This has to be the best two star hotel in the world.

Hotel Les Florets

First let me set the scene.

The hotel is situated in the Southern Rhone, beneath the rocky mountains that surrounds Gigondas. You have the smell of Provence litterally in the air.

A Smell of lavender is in the air – and the colours – amazing.

The main building of the hotel, most rooms overlooking the terrasse of the outside part of the restaurant as well as the beautiful valley.

If this does not make you happy ? I wanted to stay here forever – had my family been with me.

The hotel has been in the same family for 3 generations and Thierry and Dominique Bernard are indeed the perfect hosts – greeting you warmly with a smile and hand shake every morning – and most of the staff is also smiling and on their toes to give you the best possible stay.

I would not say it is 5 star level service, but I have definetely never ever had better service in any 4 star hotel. Example – at our first lunch shortly after arriving – we asked Thierry how far a drive – to a certain city where our first tasting was gonna take place – would be. He quickly went away to check – only to arrive 2 min after with a colour printed route guidance from the internet. Perfect.

The hotel offer different categories of rooms, incl. family rooms. Wifi, flatscreen television, indoor and outdoor dining as well as an outdoor swimming pool during the main season.

So if the Hotel les Florets is the best two star in the world, this young chef taking a break before service has to be one of the prettiest chefs in the world.

The view from the table where our first lunch was gonna take place minutes after our arrival.

I shall just give you a few more romantic evening shots from the hotel before coming back to our lunch and dinners here….

Evening shot from our table towards the valley. End of day, end of service.

– and the hotel in a romantic light before bed-time. One really did not feel like leaving this at all.

*

Restaurant les Florets

Well, I think you by some of the photos will have an idea of the settings under which the food was to be enjoyed. Let me just say, those settings does not come any better. Truly stunning views and the smell in the air automatically gives you high expectations. I think those expectations were best met and exceeded during our first lunch. However, the evening light, the sun setting, the last warm breeze of the day hitting your face, the happy faces everywhere, the laughter in the air – all that also made both our dinners outstanding experiences as well. The restaurant offers different menus as well as a la carte, and you will end up paying 32-45 eur for a 3 course meal.

Again . if one would not feel happy with this view from the ding table – well….

– or with this view.

– and witth such a pretty waitress – the meal could commence….

I will show you some of the best dishes we had throught our 3 meals here.

Beans, pear, artichokes, hazelnuts, fois gras….

My first dish here….and what a dish. It was a pure 10 in my book. The combination of the pear and fois gras, the perfect vinegar dressing. It was the best dish we had throughout the stay. 10p10p – 10p. It was not the only good one – but it was so good that on the last evening I ordered it again. And since my friend ordered a different dish – and ended up being jealous about my choice – well I did something I have never done before. I called Thierry and told him I had a problem with the dish. Something he probably could not believe since my plate was empty. But I explained to him, that I loved this so much, that I simply had to have it once more and therefore he should halt the main dish for a bit and kindly provide both of us with another round of this beauty. It was just the perfect dish and it had everything that fitted this place and region. I can just underline – I would order it again today if I could.

Lamb and eggplant

Great dish too. Probably the second best. 8p

Rhubart with rillette of smkoed mackrel

Simple but again, fitting and good. I guess by now you have an idea of the kitchen 8p

Duck breast on lentilles

The duck breast – well I do prefer old fashioned slowly cooked – “like our mothers did” – duck – but it was also a very “true to concept” dish and the meat cooked perfect rosé – like most chefs would these days. 6.5p

Filet mignon of porc, on – arh… I do not know the English word – corn of a kind, with Apricots.

Unfortunately, the filet was slighly overcooked.The smaller pieces being close to dry. The Apricots – the black olives and thus the whole balance of the taste was incredible and saved the dish. 7p

Say cheese

Perfect selection, perfect ripeness. A bit more “air” between the cheeses would have made a nicer presentation I think 8.5p

The pretty young girl from the kitchen came over and said goodnight and I could not help it – my fingers slipped

– but I hope she will be happy with the result.

Conclusion:

Let me say it very very clearly. If you are going to the area of Gigondas. This is the place you wanna be. If you are staying only one night in France (and like me cannot afford George V. and Paris anymore) – This is where you wanna be. If you are looking for the perfect balance between hotel, service, food and surroundings – Hotel and Restaurant les Florets should be your choice.

As it turns out – Thierry and Dominique are expecting a visit soon from the hotel inspectors – that off couser send thoughts to Fawlty Towers. But let me assure you, the family Bernard is prepared. And it would be the biggest crime on earth if they do not get the third star. Lets hope they will keep the price level when it happens.

As for the room I have two minor complaints. My bed was 5 centimer too short. And I missed a minibar.

But – the food – the smiling staff, the views – the nice wine list. All you could wish for. Let me congratulate Thierry and Dominique also especially on the male waiter, that throughout our stay was smiling and helpful. A perfect waiter. Any restaurant or hotel would be lucky to have a guy like him. The only complaint about the restaurant would be the chairs. Romantic looking but not really comfortably. But i actually forgot that during the dinner because of all the rest.

I salute you my friend. Even if I forgot your name

So, to round it up – I surely hope to be back next year. Thanks for making the stay memorable. Thanks Gijs for showing me this place and inviting me on your trip – well you said at one point – this is OUR trip – but hell – you planned it and was in charge of most of the stuff. And you did most of that stuff pretty damn good. I salute you too- YUP 😉 –  and before my rating of the restaurant below that will include a happiness point –  I shall leave you with a goodnight shot.

Last man standing – well sitting –      Gijs Akkerman

My rating for this restaurant visit:

Food 7.5p (10) service 4.5p (5) ambience 5p (5), Happiness point (1) Total Score  18p (20)

Cave Madeleine, Beaune – 25 January 2012

The essence of comfort food

Gijs 2012

What can I say – Beaune is my idea of heaven.

Beaune for me please...

I don´t need long beaches, shopping malls, posh restaurants and the hype of a big city. Beaune does just about the trick for me. Anywhere you look the city breathes WINE. In the shops, in the local food, the butcher, the baker, the bars, the people on the street. It is all about wine.

So going there with new friend and wine lover Gijs was a gift from heaven – or from Bacchus. Since I am the senior in this friendship as regard to dining (and in age) – I got to choose some most of our dining choices on this trip. And I had no doubts in my mind about the first one on my list. Because the last few times I had missed out on this recommendation from Jan in Denmark. His favourite place – Cave Madeleine.  And man – does Jan know his places.

Table was booked and we arrived around 7 pm full of hope and anticipation. The thing with Cave Madeleine is that they serve regional food without too much of a fuss, with no wine list, but a wall full of all the Bourgogne wines you could wish for – some bottles impossible to find elsewhere – and most of them with do I dare to say – a modest pricing policy. Therefore it is also favourite restaurant among locals- on this evening most of the large community table was occupied by a famous Meursault wine maker with his group of American clients.

I think there is around 6 tables for 2, plus the large community table. So a good 24 people can eat here – many were rejected after we arrived. Booking is essential. I felt sorry for the young Australian couple that did not get a table this evening.

The community table with "The Wall" in the back-ground.

The madam of the house did the service the first hour or so on her own, and was later joined by her husband. It is laid back service with a smile. We were shown to our table, but actually preferred another one, and got that. No problem. Besides the both English and French speaking hosts there is 3 persons in the kitchen. And they were just about to spoil us with what turned out to be – as Gijs put it –  “the essence of comfort food”.

Chablis Grand Cru 2008 from Raveneau

Gijs had no doubts that this was the one. Raveneau being one of the two top producers in Chablis.

Chambolle.Musigny !. cru 2008 from Philippe Pacalet

Having had the village version once at Söllerod Kro – being an extra bottle Jan told us we just HAD TO taste, I was happy to find Philippe Pacalet in the wall. It had to be that one. Gijs loved it. Which releaved me. I admire Gijs knowledge about wine and ability to describe them so detailed as he can. I will never reach his level. But I am learning. In that respect Gijs I am very much your junior.

As for the food….The menu – the dishes are presented on a black board behind the counter….Hard choice, because many of the dishes spoke to us. We settled for this…

Terrine of veal...

Absolutely wonderful terrine, crisp salad, great produce, truly homemade. One of the best I have ever had. It lacked a bit pepper for my taste. But the taste of the terrine…stunning. You had to be there…6p

Lamb...

Simply one of the best lamb dishes I have ever had. The simplicity of the arrangement makes it off course difficult to compare a dish like this with a more detailed presentation from a michelin starred establishment. But does it need to be ? In this case no. Wonderful tastefull meat, tender, great reduction, great mash (as good as mine) – crispy vegetables. If I had a last menu to order before heading off this planet…this dish would be in there…I asked if the chef was married (forgot I was lol), and intererested…the chef came smiling out. I guess he hoped for a long-legged blond Danish girl. I know I had hoped for a female chef. We both laughed and congratulated him on this dish. Truly the dish of the day, …of the trip. 9p

After this Gijs was on a roll and offered this pearler….

Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 2008 Jaques-Frederic Mugnier

As good as it gets. A perfect companion to the shared plate of cheese that finalized our dinner.

The cheese plate was a little let down in compare to the dishes above. But the 3 choises, consisted of 1 aged stunning compté  and 2 average ones. Cheese 4p

My conclusion:

It is easy to make simple and good food. You need good produce, a chef who knows what he is doing and cooks with passion. This is most certainly the case at Cave Madelaine. Combine this with a cosy room, perfect hosts and a wine concept others could learn from – well what do you get ? You get a perfect restaurant. Now people sometimes complain about my point system, how can you compare a brasserie – or your local sushi bar to 3 star michelin restaurant within the same scale? Well maybe you can – maybe you can´t. But let tell you this. If all my restaurants reviews were of brasseries, this one would get a 19.5p rating. No doubt. It was simply as good as a restaurant at this level can get, minus the minor flaw with the cheeses. Great bread, great service, funny but cosy ambience. Wines and food to die for – or with. I know Gijs loved it so much he swore NEVER to visit Beaune again without making sure that he could eat at Cave Madeleine. I felt proud and happy to have chosen this one.

Having had a disappointing lunch at La Ciboulette for lunch its easy to see where a restaurant and thus tourists can go wrong. Choosing a restaurant in a town that is so full of them is not easy. And the two meals we had on this first day learned us that man does it matter. Thank you Jan for directing us to Cave Madeleine. I remembered the two young Australian tourists that was rejected earlier that night. and truly hope they did not end up at La Ciboulette. But thats another story I guess.

I shall be back again for sure – hopefully with you Gijs. Here´s to our new friendship. Cheers – Big Ears….

My rating for this visit:

I shall add one happiness point for the wine concept and the general vibe of that GREAT evening we spend.

Food 7p (10) service 4p (5) ambience 5p (5), Happiness point 1p : Total Score  17p (20)

Restaurant Babette, Denmark – 11 August 2011

“Concerto for a rainy Day” Jeff Lynne 1977

“I’m standing in the rain
I’m waiting all alone
I’m so tired
I wanna go home”

After 5 days of non-stop rain we needed something to ease our minds and lift our spirits, so after booking the table and convincing the boys that NOW was the time to get in the car – we felt very good about the upcoming lunch and in keeping the tradition of a visit to this little gem at least once during our summer break.

It was good to be greeted as regulars – hey we are – every August we have been here for the last 4-5 years or so. They were all there, Brian, Vivi, Henrik….It is always good to see the light in their eyes.

Waiting for the food can be a “Man’s job” – during this summer, the boys have actually improved in trying different food, even some green stuff which until now has only been considered a little less dangerous than poison. But the waiting is still killing them.

Here are some poses to give you an idea…

No amuses today but we were happy just to be here….they only just came back from holiday.

However, the concept with around 5-8 dishes to choose from is stil the same. Food and wine were ordered, a lovely smooth 2004 Puligny Montrachet from Dujac.

A nice drop....

Pickled Flunder with Cantalupe Melon, Cucumber and Mayjonaise - enjoy.

What a beauty, what a starter. The bar had been set. 9p

Monkfish / Anglerfish - with Dill top and Mussel Fond.

A classic in Babette. The buttery fond is to die for, here served with Monkfish, could be any fish. The dish pops up in different variations at Babette, and it is lovely. 9p

Fried Mullet with Tomato, Celery, Chili, and Anchovy Oil

The missues choice. The presentation more on the easy side in compare to the two dishes before. But the pickled tomatos wonderful and the fish cooked perfectly. 8.5p

Rack of Lamb with New carrots and Relich of Rosehips, Pumpkin and Mustard seeds

Great dish, came with a second serving of other parts of the lamp on a mash. Loved it. 9p

Say cheese...

Small but great selection from the now famous Knuthenlund estate on Lolland, about 1,5 kilometers away from were I grew up. Great stuff. They have recently won a “Best Brie in the world” award. 8.5p

Variation of Blueberries - White Chocolate, Licorice Vanilla.

I actually think there was a pre-dessert too…but forgot to shoot it. This was splendid. 8p

Conclusion:

As you know by know I love Babette. There style is simple and beautiful. The service down-to-earth but with a sheer level of quality and surplus. They know what they are doing. And Brian is slowly turning into one of the best waiters in Denmark I think. But no wonder, he is learning from one of the best – the mighty Henrik Pedersen. It was a pleasure being back. We almost forgot the rain. At least for a while. We said our good-byes, sorry to the young waiter – I forgot your name, you were great too 😉 – and rushed back the summerhouse, and decided that the following day would be the last in Denmark for quite a while.  But when we return, Babette is on the wishing list.

I shall leave you with my rating and a pretty smiling face

The missus...

My rating for this visit:  Food 8.5p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4p (5), total score for this visit  17p (20).

Lameloise, Chagny – 26 June 2011

Had a rough start going to Bourgogne this time. Trip was postponed a day, due to a shortly announced school show performance of Oscar, and litterally minutes before leaving I smashed my car coming back from the baker. First accident in around 30 years, and no-one to blame but myself.

We arrived in Beaune – safely in the old Volvo – and were greeted by blue sky and 27 degrees. The day was spent, calming the nerves with Meursault, with good Friends Jörg and Sus, who had decided to join us for the following days big lunch at Lameloise. It would be their first visit to Lameloise, my 11th or so.

Chagny is a small dull village but on any Sunday, the town center is extended and filled with a market AND A LOT OF PEOPLE. If you ever in the area dont miss this market – nor Lameloise.

Some shots from Chagny go get you started

The Town Hall

Onions anyone ? All kinds....

Old friends enjoying a good morning discussion, what was the topic you wonder, Greece ? Sarkozy ? We will never know.

The reason for our visit...

With such a great Maison and entrance it is difficult not to have your hopes way up in the sky for an extraordinary culinary feast. We were greeted warmly with recognition by some of the staff, the sommelier, the elderly waiter and off course soon after Frederic Lamy came to our table and personally asked the boys who were Oscar and who were Emil. Nice touch, and something that always work in my book. Monsieur Lamy has an elegant style, but with a down-to-earth touch that makes him come over as a genuine warm person that I am sure has an eye on every table – and waiter. During the meal he passed our table a few times, and was increasingly impressed about the boys good behavior. Even though Emil was a bit ill, they both did a fine job, and severeal issues did inded make proud parents on this “Lazy Sunday afternoon”.

I shall not give you a break-down of all the dishes this time, but just note that the menu this time was de facto flawless. Gluten free bread was offered through-out the meal to the missus. The amuses had a gluten free version for her as well. A minor mistake were that they had forgotten or not noted my information that she is semi-vegetarian (no meat) – so the first version had to be changed – which were done without a fuss and rather quickly.

Wines were ordered…a Rully 1. Cru from Jacqueson 2009, lovely crisp, followed by a Chassagne Montrachet 2003 – damn I forgot the producer, but I got a big smile from the sommelier, a smile to show me he loved my choice. And later on we had another Chassagne Montrachet from 2006, all whites – all PERFECT whites.

Amuses 1

Langoustines Chaud & Froid

A highlight for all of us. The best dish of the day. Simply stunning.

Blanc de Turbot, with rhubarbe and sabayon moutarde

The Sabayon FANTASTIC, the fish cooked perfect. The rhubarbe adding a nice twist to the dish. The razor mussels…..well they will never be my favourites.

Homard Bleu, with artichokes and tarragon

Great dish, I love lobster and with the creme of potatoes, just like I learned to cook it at Clairefontaine. Second best dish of the menu.

Veau de lait Limousin, with Girolles

Great dish, the veak cooked to perfection. After having had less succes with veal elsewhere lately, its nice when you are finally presented with a great cooked piece. The girolles, very tasty. A great and very classic dish.

The cheese trolley...

All sections and some cheese nicely presented. And this is what landed on my plate according to my wishes…

Say "Cheese"

Pre-dessert - Crumble

Pre-dessert - sweets

My choice of dessert - Pommes & Passion

Astrid's choice - Chocolate, raspberry...

Last round....

Emil not up for being shot at this point....

My conclusion:

It is always good to be spoiled at Lameloise. And I doubt that anyone will leave disappointed or hungry. The service at this visit was top-notch – flawless, the small room with three tables simply cosy. The food classic but this time with some fresh new touches.

You feel like a king at all times. The gluten allergy was almost treated as good as it could have been. At least an effort was made, and that was nice to experience. I asked by a copy of a chldrens cooking book by Eric Pras, exhibited at the entrance. It was duly signed with a message to Oscar and Emil, and – hey – put on the bill – but for the prize of 0. I thank you for that, and note that the personal touch was just what I had hoped for when requesting the dedication.

I think our good friends felt the trip was more than worthwhile. I dont know what impressed them more – the behaving of our boys or the food. Lets just say – Boys you were great. All boys. Oscar and Emil – and all you boys at Lameloise. Thanks for behaving and spoiling us. Jörg and Sus, we treasure our friendship and its good to feel as if we have never been apart, even though you now live in “la chic Suisse”….

My rating for this visit:  Food 9.5p (10), service 5p (5), ambience 5 (5), total score for this visit  19.5p (20).

Gut Lärchenhof, Düsseldorf, – 18 June 2011

I got to choose this one – going together with good friend Jerome and his friend Jean-Jaques to the highly acclaimed Roger Waters performance of The Wall in Düsseldorf in the evening – we needed a good lunch to fill our tummys and free our minds. By coincidence, the menu had the same colours as most of the stage and scenery art work later had at the show. Red, black and white. The Chef Bernd Stollenwerk holds 1 michelin star and 18p Gault Millau.

The menu

The great building and a touch of blue sky on a rainy day

Located at a golf club, the beautiful building contains the club house, golf shop, and the restaurant – divided by some plants and boxes – in a brasserie and the 1 michelin starred part we opted for. Two lunch menues comes at 65 eur and 115 eur. The a la carte menu is very limited, but I am sure you can choose from the two menues.  The wine list is among the biggest I have ever seen outside France and apart from a huge number of German and French wines, it has the biggest selection of Italian and Spanish wine I have ever seen. All in all there is around 3000 numbers (!) , and having a sommelier dining with us, made the choosing  a tough job. As it turned out I chose the first and third wine, Jerome the second and 4th wine.

Jerome doing what he does best, choosing a wine.

The sommelier quickly understood that there were professionals at play, and participated in both presenting all the wines blind, and in the discussion at the table. He was a truly passionate person, with a great knowledge – (and French speaking to the delight of my two companions). His second in command – a young waiter also very friendly, correct and easy-going.

The beautiful – (open ceiling up to the roof ) – room with the view to tee-off and a putting green, fountain etc. was somewhat disturbed by the horrible carpet and the descision to incorporate both Brasserie and Gastronomic restaurant in one room.

Outdoor terrasse for warmer days...almost on the green.

We ordered the small menu and the following wines…while sharing a chilled Budjweiser – the original European one.

A nice drop - 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Pfalz.

Jerome guessed this one, stating a young Sauvignon Blanc from outside France. A bit too rich to be French according to him. I loved it.

The amuse - tasteful

I will rather have something small and interesting than two or three rounds of nothing. This was acceptable, small – but especially the wasabi ice very nice. 6p

Tartare of Beef with a crispy pepper roll and raspberry.

Best dish of the day. Only complaint was that the pepper roll tasted of sugar and not pepper. The raspberry/raspberry vinegar being the PERFECT companion to the delicate meat. But since the pepper roll did not really bring any spicyness to the dish, the dish lacked pepper or a kick. But still we were all very impressed. Beautiful presentation too. 8.5p.

Second wine - a 2006 Riesingfrom Schäfer-Fröhlich, Nahe

The sommelier chose this one according to the instructions of Jerome who wanted a dry Riesling with some age, but still with an edge and some minerality. And Jerome was happy. It was excactly what he wanted.

This is how Jerome looks when he likes a wine...

Dorade from Brittany, with a Aioli Ravioli and an eggplant creme.

The highligt of the dish being the ravioli (mentioned as a raviolo on the menu, maybe there is something I am not aware of ?). The fish perfectly cooked and the sauce a tad boring. 7p

My choice for red....what a drop.

Jerome guessing party right partly wrong. Nevertheless he guessed a great Bordeaux, – and it was a great Italian on Bordeaux grapes. I have a long story with this wine, by now it had topped and was starting too lose the tannins and fruit. But what a full-bodied, smooth and delicate wine it was.

Slowly cooked breast of veal with leek and "Pfifferlinge".

The weakest dish of the day. The meat having being cooked I think for 48 hours at whatever. No taste whatsoever, and the meat not as delicate tender as you could have imagined and hoped for. As you will know by now I am not always a big fan of slowly cooked meat  – but especially this cut is normally born to be cooked that way. But something went wrong. Maybe the temperature was too low ? My best guess. 5p

The dessert from the menu was swapped to a cheese plate without a fuss...

Great, great selection of cheese, really, selected by the waiter, – all tasty and wonderful. 2 different kinds of bread was offered, 1 serial and 1 with added dried abricots etc. 9.5p

Conclusion:

We all agreed what made the menu and the visit worthwhile – there was no doubt. The starter and the cheese. The top service. Very friendly and very correct. At all times we had water, wine etc. Wines were discussed, opinions presented etc. Throughout the meal a selection of bread was offered repeatedly. We did experience a little too long waiting period after the main dish.

Flaws, few in the dishes. I rate the food to be in almost the same league as Babette in Denmark or Der Butt in Warnemünde. The latter two slightly ahead on the food and Gut Lärchenhof miles in front on the wine selection. So I shall add a bonus point for one of the best wine selections I have ever seen outside France. In fact two more wines landed on the table. Choices of Jerome. The first one was totally gone, nothing more left of anything, a 1997 wine from Languedoc (I think) which Jerome adores and knows very well. One can argue that we ordered the wine and there was no apparent flaw – but maybe the restaurant should have recognized that this kind of wine, which was clearly over the top some years ago, should not even be on the wine list. The sommelier agreed to the surprice short-comings of the wine. But did nothing in regard to removing it from the bill or what would have been correct reducing the price of it to real cost price. I would have done that.


My rating for this visit:  Food 7p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 3 (5), total score for this visit  14.5p (20) plus the added bonus point 15.5p (20)