Foie Gras Crisp with mead jelly
Cauliflower Cheese Tart and Tete de Fromage with Celery Root
Bacon Onion Brioche
English Peach and Ginger Mocktail
Seeded Bread with Whipped Goat’s Milk Butter
Fresh Almonds – Salad of Green Beans, Apricot, Grated Foie Gras
Tomato – Green Zebra, Noire de Crimee, Pineapple Ribbed, Fresh Curd, Olives
Flame Grilled Mackerel – Pickled Cucumber, Celtic Mustard, Shiso
Scottish Langoustine – Wrapped in Shiitake, White Asparagus, Smoked Dulse
Jowl of Pork – Carrots, Girolles, Crackling, Black Pudding
Breast and Confit Leg of Pigeon – Cherries, Red Vegetables, Leaves, Offal Skewer
Collection of unpasteurized cheeses, Lavosh, Candied Nuts, Honey
Pre Dessert – Blood Orange Granita and Sweet Clover Custard with Olive Oil
Warm Custard Toast – Poached Apricots, Shaved Almonds, and Mead Ice Cream
Tartlet of English Flowers – Wild Strawberries, Chamomile Cream, Wild Honey Ice Cream, Strawberry Sorbet
Kitchen Tour Toast with Marmite
Fancying film nearly as much as I do fine dining it is rare that a meal proves as perfectly analogous to something on screen as my meal at The Ledbury did to Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn,” but with an interesting and well conceptualized introduction later degenerating into a disorganized mess I cannot help but make the correlation. Truly a elegant space, clad in white linen with soft light atop the small Notting Hill kitchen toqued by Brett Graham, and recently handed a Top-10 spot by S. Pellegrino to pair with Two Michelin Stars it was just after 6:45pm that I was seated towards the back of the dining room and with canapés arriving even before my order was placed the night started off wonderfully – a quartet of rich bites flooding the palate in preparation for a seven savory tasting offering not a single texture or flavor out of place, the enthralling bitter-meets-funky pigeon dish amongst the best I’ve tasted this year. Undeniably impressed at the two-hour mark despite surprisingly lax service whose ‘shared’ style never really allowed the diner to connect with the staff it was at the time of the cheese cart that the evening began to decline and although a long delay was finally met by a single staff member who could describe the night’s offerings I was no less made to feel like my inquiries were a bother – a similar issue arising when my pre-meal request to add a second dessert was met by a single bite portion of the warm custard toast. At this point having sat for a full fifty minutes between the granite and a tartlet that harkened the scent of an upscale “WC” it was finally the maitre d’ who would approach and obviously sensing my displeasure as I requested the check my grievances were aired – a long apology heavy on excuses followed by the offer of a kitchen tour and waived gratuity offering some condolence as the time neared 11 o’clock – late, though admittedly not quite dawn.
RECOMMENDED: All of the savories shined and given Chef Graham’s propensity for the hunt I can only imagine game season is particularly thrilling.
AVOID: Desserts, save for perhaps the brown butter tart over which I heard the table next to me gushing.
TIP: Given the fact that even the bread is not made in house I can only assume the limited kitchen size has a lot to do with the low quality of the pastry program. Reportedly recently employing a new pastry chef perhaps things will improve, but for right now I’d suggest the cheese cart – provided you can hail a server happy to expound beyond “goat, sheep, and cow.”