Thanks to everyone for their recommendations (We also found "Time Out- London" to be a very good guide with excellent maps). First night we ate at Wódka, 12 St. Alban's Gove. The food was first rate. However, it was our Polish waiter's third day on the job, and her English was not too good. But we are pretty relaxed sorts, and with other staff pinch-hitting, things went fairly well. Be prepared to be patient. A real highpoint was their homemade infused vodkas. Try the sour cherry. And get a carafe-- you'll think it's too much. It's not. They went down so well that we got rather hammered, but recuperated somewhat on the walk home. The restuarant has the added advantage of being in a very nice part of Kensington.
Next night we made our way to The Farm, 18 Farm Lane, SW6. Again, the food was very good. Their emphasis is on the natural, free-range, line-caught, and so forth. We split an exceptional mixed seafood salad, i had cod and A had seared tuna. Both were very fresh and well-prepared. I also had a side of chips, crisp and good (European potatoes are very much better than ours to begin with). A never has dessert, but we both had one of those small chocolate puddings done up with a liquid center. An excellent version of this popular chocolate thing. Interestingly, our waiter was also Polish (with a much better command of English) who knew the woman who was our waiter at Wódka(!) The TimeOut guide mentions that the restaurant has some kind of odd cash-only liquor policy. They don't. Everything was very ordinary and efficient in that sense. We think they've changed ownership recently, and that may explain it. Anyway, they seemed slow that night, so this very beautiful, quiet place, with excellent food deserves a look.
Last night we ate at the Anchor and Hope, 36 The Cut. Quite the rollicking experience. It's a crowded local with a small curtained-off dining area. Luckily, we arrived early so we could get on the wait list for a table at first seating (we were off to a play at 7.30). It's crowded, noisy-- and great fun with very good food. The young staff is particularly good at keeping things moving, and the host actually went into the street with us at meal's end to point the way to The Globe. I had a mixed meat boil with mustard sauce over green beans, and A had grilled quail over rocket with snails and bacon. All was quite good, though i think their culinary reach exceeds their grasp in some areas. We'd go back though.
A minor quibble: Why do you guys quit serving liquor at 11 p.m.? We got out of the play at 10.30 and had to run, literally, for a late snack-- and order three glasses of wine at once. This seems rather a strange behavior for a world-class city peopled by actual grown-up adult people.
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