The Ericle has no aspirations to become a restaurant reviewer but, as a recently enrolled member of The Blogosphere, our anniversary lunch at Pétrus yesterday suggests itself as an opportunity too good to pass by. In Michael Winner style, I could harp on about the view of the toilets that were afforded from our table, the ridiculousness of the Head Waiter whose every other word was “fantastic”, complain that the butter was soft and that unsalted was not an option and then, after damning the food with faint praise, sign-off with a Jewish joke. Or I could adopt an A.A.Gill alter ego and tell you that I dined alone with The Blonde, (presumably because Mr & Mrs Clarkson had cried off at short notice), use the fact that Pétrus is Gordon Ramsey’s flagship restaurant to go off on a tangential rant about Scottish Nationalism, deer-hunting or the goings-on under a kilt and then close-off, almost begrudgingly, with a few choice words about the restaurant itself. But then, a Fagin-like reconsideration of the situation, dissuades me from entering this very competitive world. I will contain myself to a identification of what we had and a couple of comments. We both chose to eat from the 3 course Summer Menu. We had:
Cannelloni of confit rabbit with poached crayfish and tarragon consommé (J)
Tartar of Casterbridge beef with toasted brioche, foie gras, baby artichoke and quail’s egg (E)
Crispy Suffolk pork belly with black pudding and sage jus (J)
Roasted breast of guinea fowl, creamed wild mushroom and Madeira jus (E)
Banana millefeuille, caramel crème pâtissière and peanut ice cream (E)
Medallion of English & French strawberries with their own gelée (J)
It would be critically convenient to be able to tell you that anything was amiss with any of the above. Well, perhaps my millefeuille was a little on the dry side but for the rest it was, beyond fault, top notch tucker. Moreover the price of the food itself was incredibly reasonable – especially when one considers what one pays for some very ordinary fayre in considerably less-attentive local establishments. It’s the drinks that send the bill into orbit at places such as this. We declined the opportunity to try the 25 year old signature wine (1987 Pétrus at a mere £1900 the bottle) and settled for one of the lower priced bottles – a very refreshing light French rosé; a snip at almost ‘half-a-score’! The service was, naturally, quite OTT, (especially the toilet-door opening rituals), but then that’s par for the course and if it wasn’t, (as was the case at Jamie Oliver’s ‘15’, which we visited at our last bijou occasion), one would feel that one’s experience had been short-changed.
So that’s it: been there, done that. And in, all sincerity, it was great but I really would not care to do that on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis. So Messrs Winner & Gill, you can rest easier in your beds tonight!