Saturday, 30 April 2011

Fine Dining

Last night, as the final part of my 50th birthday celebrations, Judith took me to The Old Vicarage in Ridgeway, to the south of Sheffield, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in South Yorkshire. I have been an avid watcher of various cookery programmes on TV, particularly 'Master Chef' in its many varieties, but have never, until last night, sampled Michelin-Star food.

The restaurant is, as its name suggests, an old vicarage, which makes for a cosy and intimate setting for dinner. After a glass of champagne and canapes in the lounge, we were seated in the conservatory with about ten to a dozen other guests. The menu was a seven course one, cooked and presented excellently, served efficiently and courteously by the young waiting staff and with personal attention from the maitre-d' and the Executive Chef, Tessa Bramley.

On the menu we had:
Champagne & Canapes
Pan-fried Langoustine tails with wild garlic & chive risotto
Baked fillet of Brill with Yorkshire Liquorice, caramelised hazelnuts & buttered parsnips
Quail roasted with pomegranate molasses, roast potato purée, fennel, orange & pomegranate salad
Roast fillet of local charolais beef, thyme roasted beetroot with fresh horseradish, butter gallette of Jersey Royals & sautéed wild girolles
Waterloo Cheese with white truffle honey & toasted brioche
Chocolate & Mocca Soufflé, Sweet Woodruff Ice Cream & Cherry Compote with Kirsch syrup
Rounded off with coffee in the lounge.

The experience is one I will remember; the ambiance of the evening was perfect, and the food and company wonderful. I must confess to feeling a little guilty about us spending the amount we did on the meal (about what we normally spend on groceries for 3 weeks), but then you're only 50 once, and I will increase my donation to Christian Aid this year in an attempt to salve my conscience a little.

I just wish I could cook like that!

And there is now a part of me that, having sampled 1-star food, is now eager to try 2-star. Maybe I'll have to start saving up for Judith's 50th and take her to Le Gavroche?