A delicious salad. Braised oxtail, tender enough to succumb, stuff enough to lend textural backbone to the salad, contrasting its husky, meaty voice to the snappy greens. Greens, shiny with luxuriant dressing, their raw vegetal tastes mellowed by a most nuanced wilting, possibly from the warm dressing. The dressing, spotted with balsamic vinegar that harmonized in sweetness with the parsnips to offset the deep beefy savoury flavours, a pleasant play of levity and weight.
For some reason, I imagined a clear, white chicken broth in the ricotta risotto, a chicken congee lightness behind soft, pure ricotta, fragrant pinenuts and sharp, finely chopped green onion. (Maybe it's my mind playing tricks.) An excellent side for the immense pleasure of a rabbit legs, plump and pink, sweet juices and all with dark huckleberries and a vin santo sauce. Not to forget, fried baby artichoke, fragile, crispy and as beautiful as dried flowers.
An excellent apple almond crumble, crumbly indeed and providing the usual delight of hot and cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
There's an nice if slightly pricey tea selection. I was soothed by affable brew whose exact name I can't recall, a black ceylonish tea, gentle with fruit and soft wood.
I believe the Monday Bar Club holds its own against the slightly pricier Soiree Room. If not for the exquisite cheese cart, I'd be completely satisfied dining downstairs.
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