We were looking for great food, quiet unrushed atmosphere, a bit of elegance, and a "grown up" dining experience. We found that last night at Hammersleys. It was my treat to a good gal-pal and we were there for dinner. After reading up online, we shared the mushroom, garlic sandwich as an appetiser. Three kinds of mushers strewn between two pieces of what may have been brioche, each one gently coated with a deeply rich garlic puree. Enough for an entree and mouth-awakening in its subtlety.
Then she had the steelhead trout with garlic, lemon, and capers -- I hah the roasted chicken which lived up, and then some, to its reputation as succulent (how do they DO that?) and beyond any other chicken I've ever eaten. Waiter informed us that they were Bell and Evans chickens -- always a good bet. Mindful of our already full stomachs, we shared the spiced pear upside-down cake with cranberry sorbet. The sorbet was astringent and just the essence of cranberry. The pear upsy downer was warm, only slightly sweet, and the kind of gentle desert you want after a blow out. Under it all was a brilliant claret-colored zigzag of cranberry puree and the whole dish was dotted with sugared individual cranberries. Oh my. We even treated ourselves to the valet parking (which, in the neighborhood, is generally much needed. The car park guy again recommended the chicken and then as a close second, the duck confit.
From start to finish it was a glorious experience. My budget won't allow for many repetitions, but for special occasions, it is worth it in every way. We felt pampered, attended to, well and deliciously fed, and walked out saying to each other, "Hmmm. Let's go back in right now and do it all over again." Thank you Gordon Hammersley.