Friday, 16 December 2011

In which I eat my way through 2011

In the first in a string of admittedly lazy posts revisiting 2011 and things I’ve enjoyed therein, I bring you a list of places I have enjoyed eating this year…

Spuntino, Soho
Yet another of Russell Norman’s brainchildren, the tiny, New York-inspired menu at Spuntino is utterly delicious. The truffled egg toast is possibly the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. They’re also excellent at working out it’s a birthday and putting candles in the dessert without your date noticing until it’s in front of him.

Polpetto, Soho
My exceptionally soft spot for Polpetto might be that it was the scene of dinner on the first day of my first date with The Writer. Or it might be because of the swordfish carpaccio with pomegranate. I’d not take any chances, frankly – get down there pronto and try it for yourself.

The Ledbury, Notting Hill
Fine dining at its best. They do an affordably pricey set lunch for those wanting to try the two-star food without remortgaging.

Max, Tribeca
Food in London is brilliant, but there’s something about food in New York. Maybe it’s the whacking great platefuls, maybe it’s the far friendlier service. Whatever it is, it’s special. Max is no different. A low-lit little Italian in Tribeca, the pasta is beyond delicious, the wine is decent and the whole thing is bargainous. Brilliant.

Fishers, Edinburgh
Bowls of mussels the size of your head (the bowls, not the mussels), and a wondrous three-course meal for two with booze and coffee for £30 each? Winning.

The Outsider, Edinburgh
This place, I love. I’ve loved it since I discovered it way back in 2004, and imagine I will continue to do so for the forseeable. Never once have I had a bad meal there, and anywhere that’s going to serve scallops the size of a steak is in my good books. I’ve made TW promise not to write a rave review and ruin the place for ever.

Brick Box, Brixton Village
Now here’s a place that is almost certainly about to be ruined, with Brixton Village having just been named ‘Best of 2011’ for food in London by Time Out. But, if you can get there before the hoards do, go for Sunday brunch. Have the homemade lemonade, and one of their BRILLIANT pancakes (I like the goats’ cheese). If you’re TW, have four in one sitting, and acquire the nickname ‘The Record Guy’ for every subsequent visit.

Yalla Yalla, West End
Cheap and cheerful, and a place that I can legitimately have supper consist entirely of baba ghanoush and hummus. Perfect for grazey, gossipy dinners with friends you’ve not seen in far too long, and an excellent selection of surprisingly tasty Lebanese wine.

Jane, West Village
I’m sure there are a million and three places to go for Sunday brunch in New York, but I keep going back to Jane. Their Benedict Jane (poached eggs, crab cakes, sautéed potatoes, hollandaise) and a good, spicy Bloody Mary are the perfect way to set yourself up for a afternoon on Museum Mile. Or anything else you could conceivably want to do.


Jack The Lad said...

Blonde, On The Outsider, I've eaten there on more than a few occasions and I have no problem with the scrummy food, brisk & unfussy service and delish wines/alcohol. But, you knew there was a but didn't you, the problem I have is when its busy it can get very LOUD, especially when there's a bunch of twenty something girls out on a pre-night-out nosh. The problem could be alleviated by putting some soft fabric on the walls to kill some of sound reflections. Or they could not sell lots of alcohol to nights out, male or female. Apart from that I do agree with review.

Blonde said...

Jack: Ah, yes, that is true. I find it's not quite so bad if you get a table near the edges of the room, particularly downstairs. But yes - large bunches of pre-boozers can take the edge off any nice meal!

unpackingbooksfromboxes said...

I wish I'd had a list like this 12 months ago! I had the most awful, bland, overpriced eating experiences in London, so much so that I gave up and lived on hot chocolate and pastries from Paul's. I had just come from Paris and the amazing food there so I figured a French-themed chain was my safest bet. Sounds like I just needed some more guidance.

Blonde said...

Unpacking: Oh no! London is full of tasty things - you definitely missed out. What a shame.

PhilipJTerry said...

While skim reading this I saw in the same paragraph the words "tiny" and "best thing I ever put in my mouth"

Nonetheless, this looks like a fantastic food blog...

Blonde said...

Philip: Hmm. Can't deny that... Though you should go, try the toast and see if you don't agree.

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