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What's on the Menu? – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

09 June 2009 by
What's on the Menu? – A round-up of the latest restaurant reviews

The Daily Telegraph, 6 June
Jasper Gerard awards top marks to Terroir in London WC2, describing it as the best wine bar/bistro he has found in years

Terroirs, opened by those swell Guildford wine merchants Caves de Pyrène, serves French tapas, but don't be put off; the food is tastier than one of those young lovelies President Sarkozy wants in his cabinet. The wonderfully weighted menu of chef and co-owner Ed Wilson lets you nibble or gnaw, snack or stuff. Purely for you, dear gastronome, I leave waddling like a duck limbering up for a foie gras festival. While arguing over what to order, we peck on duck scratchings. Yes, you heard right: roasted, crunchy and heroically unhealthy duck skin. We then fall upon two starters on toast: small pieces of bone marrow on finely chopped black truffle which has us cooing, until our snail and bacon arrives, when we forget the bone marrow entirely. The toasted sourdough bread from Poilâne is rubbed with garlic and oozes olive oil. It is topped with back bacon and fat snails covered in parsley sauce. Fabulous and, at £6, a bargain.
Terroirs - review in full >>

The Guardian, 6 June
Matthew Norman praises At The Chapel in Bruton, Somerset, for taking pride in every aspect of its operation
While getting stuck into a delicious 2005 Faugères, I offered a silent prayer for some kitchen calamity to reduce the chances of nauseating you with a virtual press release. But, alas, the food was outstanding, every last morsel of it. Our friends, who live a few miles away, had raved about this place, and no wonder. Smooth chicken liver pâté came in its own little Kilner jar with superlative sourdough toast and a fine homemade fig chutney. A gargantuan portion of confit duck leg was crispy-skinned and juicy, and came with the creamiest foie gras terrine. Best of all was a prettily presented grilled mackerel Caesar salad - a clever and novel idea perfectly executed.

The Observer, 7 June
Jay Rayner says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's food at the River Cottage Canteen in Bath is good, but the price and marketing pitch for a host of products leaves a bitter taste

A few of the dishes were great, particularly the rich Dorset crab on toast with chopped egg, parsley and lemon juice, which looked and tasted just like one of his newspaper recipes, as did a French onion soup with a punchy local cheese crouton and a crisp wafer of pancetta-style ham. A five-hour slow-roast piece of pork was perfect - ooh, the crackling - and the chocolate brownie at the end was one of the very best I have ever eaten, the crisp surface giving way to a deep well of rich, soft chocolate loveliness…Most concerning, though, is the price. That £6.50 bowl of French onion soup felt very much like £5 worth, and £10 for the chicken salad felt like a lot for not very much. There is a £10 two-course lunch menu, but it also didn't offer much: spinach soup followed by pork liver pÁ¢té, or the latter with bread and butter pudding.
River Cottage Canteen - review in full >>

The Sunday Telegraph, 7 June
Zoe Williams is overwhelmed by the generosity of the food at Edmunds inBirmingham

Periodically, I come across a menu where the value is pretty good (£41 for three courses), but there is such a proliferation of amuse-bouches and amuse-gueules and fancy-pants pre-desserts that I worry for their margins, I honestly do. I'm overreacting, of course: yes, it would have taken me a day and a half to put together the first plate (miniature brioche filled with a tantalisingly lovely nugget of foie gras, a spoon of couscous, one of smoked salmon, some goat's cheese on bruschetta, parma ham with melon), and then the second (an espresso cup of swede and carrot soup - velvety, but inescapably swede-ish, I'm afraid), but they probably did it in a mere day. So maybe their overheads are fine. Hope so - it is a lovely place.
Edmunds - review in full >>

By Janet Harmer

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