Thursday, August 31, 2006

... _ _ _ ...

When I offered to take LL cool T out to dinner to celebrate the passing of all those exams and getting all those A’s, there really wasn't a lot of choice. I picked the only restaurant I am aware of that has a 'fine meat menu'. Well that's not entirely true as I did consider the mouth watering Carnivore in Nairobi but I thought flying to Kenya may be a little ambitious for dinner! So Smith's of Smithfield it was then! We went for the top floor restaurant to maximise the meaty options.

Smith's of Smithfield is quite industrial looking but as you ascend through the floors the look is softened though still rather masculine. The exposed brick is replaced by metal painted chocolate brown, the bar is a very pleasing shiny red with deep recesses for all the bottles and there are ‘girl on girl action’ line drawings outside the toilets. And we are rather outnumbered by men but that's no bad thing! The … _ _ _ … (SOS) theme is etched onto the glass windows leading out onto the terrace overlooking the amazing view over the city. The … _ _ _ … is also repeated on the china plates.

You've got to admire a restaurant that not only has a fine meat menu but also a 'daily potato' as well as chips and mash. Today's potato was gratin daupinois. It didn't take too long for D and I to ponder how many potato dishes they have to select from and who gets to choose? I thought that a 'potato of the day' was such a good idea that I should instigate the concept in my life though D thinks that my potato du jour would just be mash. I immediately countered with how much I like champ, aligot, baked potatoes and potato duchesse. But I have to admit that's just really mash with spring onions (scallions), mash with cheese, baked mash in a skin and garlic and crispy rosettes with a mash like centre. Hmmm, maybe D is right after all!

The menu is very meaty and very tasty looking. D and I can't decide on a starter so we split two - Foie Gras and Leek Terrine with Toasted Brioche and Smoked Eel, Potato Pancake, Beetroot, Horseradish Cream and Pancetta. Both were really, really good! And T plumps for Rare Breed Carpaccio with Blue Cheese Dressing. The beef was seriously good but I'm not a fan of blue cheese so I wouldn't have had the dressing personally.

D can only drink white wine, I prefer red and T will drink absolutely anything so we split the difference and go for a rose - a Charles Melton Barossa Valley Rose of Virginia in fact. However unfortunately this is still too red for D and we have to bring the rest home.

The point of the top floor of SOS is the fine meat menu – today’s choices were 10oz South Devon Rump, aged 24 days (supplied by Steve Turton of Newton Abbot), 10oz South Devon Sirloin, aged 24 days (supplied by Steve Turton of Newton Abbot), 10oz Welsh Black Sirloin, aged 24 days (supplied by Emrys Davies from the Welsh Hook Meat Centre) and 7oz Rare Breed Fillet served with a choice of sauces. We all went for the Welsh Black Sirloin cooked RARE! And not surprisingly it was amazingly succulent and delicious. D and I have the mash and gratin dauphinois – naturally, and T has the finest very square cut chips (and he let me have one – it was a fabulous chip!)

Definitely, a juicy meaty three forks for SOS top floor!

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