Friday, January 27, 2006

Chez Bruce is superb

We have been fortunate to dine in some very fine restaurants lately (The Food Room, Homage, Le Gavroche, Sketch Lecture Room and Library, Mark Hix and more) but last night Chez Bruce surpassed them all.

We went there to celebrate Mary's birthday; it is only two miles from our house. We had been there a couple of times before including last Valentine's. Since Jamie Oliver said it was his favourite restaurant getting a reservation has become problematical. They had to introduce a 28 day booking window so I rang on December 28 to book last night and several time slots were already gone.

Normally I struggle to remember what I ate last night but not today. A creamy onion tart, a trio of pork, and a pear and almond tart. The flavours were just gorgeous throughout. We had a half of Pouilly Fuisse from Chateau Fuisse with the starters and a bottle of Santenay from Bernard Morey with the mains from a wine list with good range to suit all tastes and wallets.

We had some banter with the sommelier including one of my favorite ploys: instead of asking which wine goes with the food, I choose the wine then ask which food I should order, it is the best pairing I am after. He kindly offered a botrytis affected South African chenin blanc (Rudera Noble Late Harvest) that was not on the "by the glass" list and that could pass for a Sauternes any day. Dessert wine usually comes in 75cl thimble measures so I went for a second glass, this time switching to a Recioto de Soave which, while good, was overshadowed by the preceding wine.

If you know, in advance, that you are going to be in London plan ahead and book a place - it will be worth the trip.

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