One always gets asked the million dollar question: ‘What makes a two or three star restaurant?’ It’s a tough call. Gone are the days when France, and even more specifically, Paris was the epitome of gastronomy, the temple of food. The very guide that dictated the hierarchy of restaurants has since decided that Tokyo is deserving of such accolades, that a small town in Spain having consistently made headlines, reinventing cuisine as we know it is ruling the world of cuisine, and moreover, that whilst French cuisine has in fact dominated the ring for centuries, it no longer is king. Nevertheless, restaurants still draw from tradition and French influences, chefs often embedding their own cultural and personal stamp upon French gastronomy.
Pied a terre is a restaurant that whilst deeply rooted in a French tradition, has nuances of a more eclectic and individual nature. The menu always reads excitingly and one feels a certain lightness about the whole deal. Having had a disastrous meal at their sister restaurant, L’autre Pied, I was sure that Pied a terre was going to be good.
Canapes: salt cod mousse, fois gras and grape, salmon tartare
As for starters:
Salad of Rabbit, Grelot Onions and Broad Beans, Confit Rabbit Boudin, Cep Vinaigrette
Nice dish. Nothing spectacular, beautifully cooked rabbit. But but BUT – GRITTY mushrooms. ech!
Tartare of langoustine, feta, olives, cucumber
Apparently it was nice. Bit salty on the dried olives, but I was told that if they weren’t told it were langoustines, one would never guess what it was.
For our mains:
Roast pigeon, , madeira jus, jersey royals
Beautifully cooked pigeon, and D was very happy with it – preferring it over my main course:
Roast turbot, asparagus, pine nuts, vermouth sauce, pomme souffle
This was lovely – summery, texturised, good bit of meaty turbot.
Roast guinea fowl, gnocchi, parmesan
Nicely cooked, lacking a bit of vegetable goodness, but nothing exciting.
Whilst my fellow diners decided to go for a cheese course, I was a bit surprised to find that I wasn’t offered anything whilst they had their cheese – a sorbet, or anything for that matter, would have been nice whilst I waited for them to finish – all I got was an empty plate put in front of me. And the cheeseboard wasn’t anything special – just 6 cheeses on there.
Our pre-dessert was a bit boring, compared to what I’ve had in other restaurants of a similar caliber.
Caramel custard, coffee ice cream, rice krispies
Desserts too, were largely forgettable:
Peach and vanilla millefeuille
Nothing exciting – extremely tart, unripe peaches, excessively creamy.
Praline mousse, banana milkshake, passion fruit ice cream
Baby food! Why call a mousse a milkshake? Banana mousse. Not very banana-ey either. Passion fruit sorbet was great (if you don’t get a passion fruit sorbet right, there’s some serious wrist slashing that needs to be considered!)
Bittersweet chocolate, macadamia cream, stout ice cream
The restaurants signature dish. Hmm. Chocolate was delicious – really strong, really bitter. Stout ice cream. Really? You’d never guess in a million years what flavour that was, if it even had a flavour.
Petit fours were exciting though!
Chilli truffle, lemon marshmallow, praline macaroon, salted caramel choc tart, apple jelly, caramel biscuits
One of the nicer petit four selections I’ve come across. Nice selection of flavours.