The Square

February 11, 2006

On February 3, 2006, four of us dined at The Square, one of the four two-starred London restaurants in the Michelin Guide. (There is one three-star, Gordon Ramsey, in London and there square-1.jpgare others out in the countryside.) The restaurant is on Bruton Street, between Bond Street and Berkeley Square, a very fashionable, traditional neighbourhood, but its décor is boring modern. The tables are well spaced and one can have a conversation. The service was efficient, friendly and well-paced. The clientele is varied and not as well-dressed as one would expect in such a spot. There is only one seating per table the-square-london.jpgin the French style.We had the tasting menu at £75 @. With three bottles of wine and tip it all came to just over £150 @, which puts it at the same price level as all but the most pricey Paris or NY restaurants. But the food, while very good, was not at that level. It was based on modern French style (foam right up there in the first course), but had British quirks. The foie gras came fourth; the optional cheese (which we skipped) came after the dessert. The wine list was huge and interesting. We had the-square-restaurant.jpgtwo bottles of the Chery Condrieu 2003 and a bottle of Volnay. I had never had Chery before and it was excellent, as it should be at £77 a bottle. There were British ingredients, which is a good idea: Orkney scallops, curried apple, Scottish Langoustine ( I find this one hard to believe; langoustine is a warm water creature.), the whole venison course; chocolate chip ice cream. Everything was served exquisitely on white plates, but they the-square-mayfair-1.jpgoverdid keeping the portions small. I felt that, in creating the dishes, the relationships of the main and secondary ingredients, and the sauces were sacrificed to creating pretty pictures on the plate. I never had the frisson (wow, what a great combination!) that I get in French two star restaurants. 

Here is the menu which I picked off http://www.squarerestaurant.com. 

Roast Chicken and Truffle Consommé with a Field Mushroom Foam   

Roast Isles of Orkney Scallops with a Lightly Curried Apple and Parsnip Purée and a Raisin, Lime and Pomegranate Dressing  

Sauté of Scottish Langoustine Tails with Parmesan Gnocchi, Chanterelles and Truffle Butter

Roast Foie Gras with Blood Orange Caramel, Raisin Purée and Endive 

Roast Seabass with a Parcel of Wild Mushrooms, White Onion Purée and Crisp Potato Rösti  

Loin of Venison with Caramelised Root Vegetables, Red Cabbage and a Beetroot Jus 

 Moccha Soufflé with Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream  

Cheese (Optional course – £5.00 supplement) 

£75.00 per person 

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