Tuesday, October 30, 2007

i love pattersons

they say, you know it’s true love when you can’t stop smiling and thinking about the object of your affections. I couldn’t stop smiling at work on friday, simply just thinking about the prospect of dinner at pattersons. I couldn’t stop smiling during dinner. and I couldn’t stop smiling after. and I’m still smiling now. it’s true love I’m convinced. of course, the pleasure was compounded exponentially by the brilliant conversations and the lovely company of E.

I never thought I could love pattersons more than I did. but they charmed our socks off by giving me and e a glass each of champagne on the house, and an absolutely brilliant amuse bouche in the form of a panfried halibut with spinach puree, tomato concasse and (I think) carrot purree. and a wafer of black truffle. absoulutely brilliant. and it eased the pain of the after-effects of my indecision when I had decided to forgo the halibut which was on the specials of the day. as the table had been booked in e’s name, i’ve concluded e’s got special dining powers. definitely making her do all the bookings from now on.

I was secretly pleased that they hadn’t changed the menu yet. having had the same starter the last two times I was at pattersons, I fought all temptation to order the langoustines for the third time, and instead went for the rabbit tortellini. “it tastes just like chicken (but better)”, I said soothingly to e, hopefully dispelling any fluffy-animal-rabbits-are-too-cute-to-eat issues as I hoisted onto her a forkful of the sweet flakes of rabbit meat encased in its light, al dente pasta shawl. she very graciously reciprocated (as I hoped she would) with a forkful of the blessed langoustines and courgette flower tempura.

I want to meet the chef and his kitchen staff at pattersons and kiss all of them. they’re lovely people I’m convinced. the food is really very well executed, and inventive without being pretentious. and I always have a very good time. and they’re not overly precious about their food. e decided to forego the foie gras stuffing in the dover sole (which came with the lovely punch of celeriac puree and basil pesto gnocchi), and they happily obliged. and the resulting dish was just as brilliant as I remembered it with the foie gras stuffing. our lovely waitress couldn’t have been more apologetic when she gravely informed us that the panna cotta that e had requested for puddings were sold out, and the kitchen was more than happy to acquiesce to e’s request for sorbets (which weren’ on the menu as such), and obliged with a trio of lovely fruity sorbets.

being the greedy git that I am, I wasn’t going to have anything omitted from my mains, which was the well hung fillet of beef, with breaded sweetbread, ratte potatoes and baby carrots. nestling on the square of lusciously tender potatoes was a single clove of roasted garlic. it was a good thing I wasn’t planning on snogging anyone that night, because that single clove of roasted garlic gave me unparalleled pleasure as I squeezed its soft mushy garlicky goodness out of its shell and smeared it liberally over each mouthful of the potato. I’m not much of a meat-and-two-veg kind of girl, but if meat-and-two-veg were always done like this was, I could eat it every day. I had for pudding, the vanilla and chocolate cheesecake with almond macarons. to be honest, I was slightly dreading this as I had in my mind’s eye, a generic supermarket cloyingly sickening slice of overbearing cheesecake. I’m not sure what I was doing thinking of that. of course pattersons wasn’t going to serve me a slab of drudge – the cheesecake came in delicate quenelle shaped spoonfuls of goodness. I must have audibly squealed with pleasure with each pop of the almond macarons into my mouth.

it’s slightly disconcerting, I mused on the drive back home, that while i sometimes question my ability to fully explicitly express my affections for anyone in a coherent and sensible manner, I have absolutely no difficulty in saying - I absolutely love pattersons. no doubt about that.

p.s – I’ve finally found out the name of the squashy plants on the tables – they’re colloquially referred to as “mind your own business”. or if you’re being posh – soleirolia soleirolii in latin.


Blogger fluffylyd said...

haha, well hung beef

8:39 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Hey Rachel

Long time no hear/see! A couple of other bloggers and I went to Patterson's on Saturday night, purely on strength of your recommendation and LOVED it! Sublime food and not badly priced (and I see what you mean about how compelling those plants on the table are....) The only bum note was the maitre d' telling us at dessert (after we had snapped all the other dishes!) that there was "no flash photography allowed". Umm... pointed out that neither of the 2 of us with cameras had taken a single flash photo! Then he mumbled something about no photos except with prior permission... but we could finish takign photos seeing as we started. Meaningless, weird and unnecessarily annoying! Still, we got some good photos and it did not detract from the fact that the food was lovely!

7:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home