Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ron's 33rd Birthday dinner at Chez Bruce - Monday 30th October 2006

My starter of Roast foie gras with shin of beef, sweet and sour endive and quince jelly. This was absolute perfection. Tender melting foie gras, caramelised on the outside, fluffy and soft inside. The shin of beef was rich and soft, an intense beef flavour which complemented the sweet foie gras and quince jelly. The endive was hard to cut but had such depth of flavour that I didn't mind shoving it into my mouth all in one go!

Ron's starter of Ragout of Devon Mussels, lemon sole and artichokes with creamed potato and chorizo. Ron said this was delicious, the mussels plump and fresh and the strong flavour of the chorizo was an unusual complement to the gentle taste of the lemon sole, but he didn't think the creamed potato worked as part of the whole. Too similar in texture to the fish maybe?

Ron's main was the Roast grouse with braised celery, port glazed pear, bread sauce and game chips. It was recommended by our lovely French waiter who advised us it was Norfolk grouse, hung for two weeks and cooked very pink. The thing that Ron and I both love about Chez Bruce is that you will be served a plate of Michelin starred food, but in a quantity that leaves you satisfied, not starving! Ron's plate was practically bursting with delicious morsels. There wasn't even room for his bread sauce which came in a seperate dish.

My main course was Rump of lamb with braised savoy cabbage, bacon, sarladaise potato and prunes. Really most of my favourite things all in one plate! The savoy cabbage braised with bacon was contained in a cabbage leaf but at first glance it looked like a giant brussel sprout - my least favourite thing! The potato sarladaise (according to google - crispy layers of potatoes, butter, nutmeg, crispy spring onions and wild mushrooms) was delicious, a rich complex flavour. I also enjoyed the prunes which tasted as though they had been soaked in a rich brandy.

I didn't take photos of our last course. Ron requested the cheese plate and the waiter grinned and asked him if he had had this before? When we said no he grinned even wider and we realised why when he arrived with a massive tray covered in cheeses. Ron had a selection on his recommendation and enjoyed everything apart from the Caerphilly which I requested which was quite dry in comparison to the melting Brie De Meaux and the Camembert.

I had creme brulee which was wonderful. Light crisp caramelised sugar, heavy custard specked with vanilla. A perfect way to finish off the meal. We managed to stagger to the car and drive home where we both collapsed into bed in food comas while Liv gave Amy her bottle!

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