We continued our support for the hospitality industry on Thursday evening with a return to one of our favourite places the Artichoke restaurant in the delightful town of Amersham. It’s always a pleasure to visit here as the food and service is usually to a very high standard. Our visit this time as we know was going to be a little bit different. When we arrived we were given the usual friendly welcome before being asked to sanitize our hands. Once this was done they escorted us to our table in a prime spot in front of the newly designed open kitchen where we were greeted by owner / chef Laurie who it was great to see again. All the staff were wearing face shields which although we understand it really does make it hard to hear what’s being said at times. They had also spaced out the tables leaving plenty of room in between each one. Once seated the sommelier came over to ask if we’d like an aperitif so we chose to have a glass of rose sparkling wine to start the evening. Now on to the menu where there was a choice of either the six or eight course Tasting Menu or the A la Carte. Our choice as always was the eight course tasting menu. We decided not to have the wine pairing and mentioned to the sommelier that we would like to try the Spanish Albarino to which he said was a good choice and would be an excellent pairing for the menu.
So now it is food time which started with a delightful Amuse Bouche of Sea Trout & Apple. Along with this came the Chiltern Black Ale Bread & Malt Vinegar Butter. This led us on to the first course of Cornish Crab with brown crab cream , tomato water & summer vegetables.
Bread & Butter
So now we moved on to our next course a Courgette Flower with lincolnshire poacher , borlotti beans & nettle pesto. This was followed by the Pan Fried Foie Gras with confit bacon , cauliflower purée & blackberries that was absolutely delicious. Our fish course was a Poached Brill with basil butter , brown shrimp , coco beans & violet artichoke.
So now on to the main course where there was a choice of two. So with this my wife chose the Confed Landes Poussin with girolles , cep ketchup , leeks , carrots & Foie gras. While for myself I had the Saddle of Lamb , sweetbreads spiced with ras el hanout , yoghurt , apricots & lettuce.
Confed Landes Poussin
Saddle of Lamb
Now it was time for the cheese course which was very interesting but the combination of flavours really did work well together. This was a Goat’s Cheese Souffle with smoked pepper sorbet & truffle honey. Next to come was desserts which started with the Cambridge Cream with strawberries , buttermilk ice cream , breton sable & strawberry soup. This was followed by the Oakchurch Raspberries with white chocolate ganache , gateaux savoie , ale ice cream & green almonds.
Goat’s Cheese Souffle
We finished with coffee & petit fours to round of the evening of excellent food from Laurie & Ben and great service especially from our waitress Alexa. I would highly recommend a visit to the fantastic restaurant. Wishing them all the best and look forward to seeing you all again soon.
All looks delicious Lloyd.