Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Photographing in the dark

I love the food at Le Pont de la Tour, the service is terribly efficient, the restaurant is elegant and the views are wonderful. And therein lies the problem. Because of the star attraction of the view, the lighting is ambient, some say dim, and plays havoc with my food blogging photographs. Of course, that’s not remotely important, and I’m sure they wouldn’t be the tiniest bit concerned but it makes it very hard to display their delicious food to the best effect. However, despite my gloomy photos, I can assure you that the meal tasted much better than it looks.

After the melba toast and the tasty raisin bread nearly all of us went for Brandan Orach smoked salmon, blini and keta caviar and why not, the blini was soft and flavoursome and the salmon was deliciously moist and thickly cut which seems the fashion at the moment. And I am not complaining as you really get to appreciate the meaty salmon flavour.

This was followed by guinea fowl, truffled potatoes and stuffed cabbage. The guinea fowl was perfect, so aromatic and juicy and probably the best guinea fowl I’ve ever had. The potato was pleasant but nothing really special but the stuffed cabbage was very good.

I had remembered after my last visit that the petit pot au chocolat is topped off with vanilla cream. And as I had recalled this I was able to ask the waiter if I could have my chocolate pot cream-free. But for some reason that seemed a good idea at the time when the waiter didn’t immediately understand me I explained my proclivities in French. But the problem here is that even though I have learnt the most vital of phrases namely, “please don’t let tomato come anywhere near my food” and “definitely no whipped cream on top of my delicious chocolate dessert”, my French is still very sporadic. So, as well as he understood me he felt that a discourse of my cream dodging in French would convince me that I was making a wrong decision. I understood practically none of his reasons for me having the cream but just insisted at regular intervals that I didn’t want it. He probably thought I was quite rude but unfortunately it was just my inadequate French that let me down. The cream-less chocolate pot was delicious and the citrussy madelines a perfect foil.

One of the things I’ve always admired at Le Pont de la Tour is the cigar smoking Michelin man stained glass window over the reception desk and after explaining that I really wanted a photo of it for my blog, they were happy to oblige. We chose this restaurant because we wanted a good, local restaurant to introduce another J into our team. And they are doing a special offer at the moment, 3 courses plus a glass of Champagne for £30 which probably makes the meal about half it’s usual price so excellent food for a great price. Welcome to the team J, I’m afraid the photographing of all our restaurant meals is more or less mandatory but maybe next time they’ll be a little more light.

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