Last week, our fortnightly date night coincided with a sister-in-law's birthday, so we decided to be a little more extravagant and finally go to book a table.
I was a bit early, having miscalculated how long I needed to spend in See Woo, which triggered the only real flaw in the evening. While they said it wasn't a problem, showed me to the table and fetched me a menu and a glass of prosecco, when Paul, and then Shiona arrived, they were shown to the table and abandoned without menus or drinks for quite some while. We seemed to have arrived right at a changeover point for staff and couldn't attract any attention.
Once we did flag down a waiter, however, service was smooth, the pacing of the meal was spot on and the food was divine.
Blueprint Cafe, so Paul chose that as his starter. He said it was sublime - creamy and smoky - although he wasn't sure what the sauce was. I'd have assumed horseradish but he didn't think so.
Let me tell you, this was the most perfect dish I have eaten this year. Fragile, crunchy, oily toasts topped with beautiful fresh ricotta, tiny chargrilled artichoke hearts, citrus wedges and a tumble of toasted nuts and fried breadcrumbs. I think the cool kids are referring to such things as "savoury granola". I assumed, from the name of the dish, that the citrus wedges were lemon, but they were a delicate pink colour and had a mild, fresh flavour that didn't immediately scream "lemon". It was so beautifully balanced in flavour and texture, I could eat it every day for a month at least.
We shared a correct if somewhat dull rocket salad, delicious fat chips and a lovely dish of mixed courgettes with mint. And then took a deep breath and considered dessert.
The bill, with tip, came to £200. Which I thought was pretty good value really (a glass of prosecco, a beer, a bottle of not-their-cheapest wine, 2 starters, 3 mains, 3 side dishes, 2 desserts, a brandy and a glass of sherry). Even better value since the room is lovely, the tables spacious and Helena Christensen was having her dinner a couple of tables down.