Monday, December 11, 2006

Snail de la Tour

Today's was a team “early Christmas thing, a farewell to L and her splendid bump and just because we wanted to get together” lunch. We availed ourselves of the fine Pont de la Tour lunch special, 3 courses from a limited menu plus a glass of Champagne £14.95! Not bad at all! Pont de la Tour is fabulously French and the special menu in the bar is classic lunchtime bistro fare. I ordered snails, followed by and then duck confitpot and au chocolat. I'm fairly sure I could have got this exact menu twenty years ago but I'm not complaining, it was great stuff!

The snails were suitably garlicky.

I was somewhat defeated by the snail pincers, as my snail shells seemed to be much slimmer than the pincers would indicate and keep slipping through. Never mind I came equipped with fingers and they're infinitely more adjustable! There was good bread to mop up every last bit of the garlicky goodness. L particularly asked me to partake in the snails as she wanted to check them out but wasn’t sure if they’d be bump friendly. I offered her a chance to dip bread into the garlic butter but clearly the waves coming off me were enough! Next was the confit of duck with little cubes of turnips. This was again a fine exponent of confit, nothing fancy, no fripperies just tasty! I guess some creamy mash or a slab of Gratin Dauphinoise would have rounded it off nicely but it wasn't on offer so I enjoyed a 'lighter' version instead.

Dessert was another classic bistro dishes - pot au chocolat. Marred initially by a topping of cream, ugh, but this was swiftly rectified to give me a little ceramic pot of the perfect dark chocolate unctuousness. And it even came with a tiny spoon, unfortunately not heart-shaped!

Flame haired H, L and bump had monstrous crème brulees to get through but we were able to help a bit. Flame haired H was particularly defeated as apparently he is part man/part sparrow!

The coffees and teas were somewhat spoilt (to my mind) by the delicious looking little chocolates turning out to be harbouring coffee beans! Yuck! Whatever next? Chocolate covered tomatoes?! I'm sure everyone else enjoyed them though.

Our Champagne was delicious though! I definitely want to return and try the full menu and full Pont de la Tour experience and I’ll give two snail forks for Le Pont de la Tour.

So now it's farewell to L for a while. I not sure she's entirely ready for the team tradition. The moment you think you're on maternity leave, the first whiff of you settling down to a nice cup of tea, feet up and a flick through the dreaded daytime TV options said bump decides that "it's better out than in!" and suddenly materialises. You've been warned, L!

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