St John, Fergus Henderson’s Clerkenwell institution that specializes in “nose to tail eating” was on tap for Monday evening. The dining room is open and spare, and I liken it to a (pristine) cafeteria with better lighting and white tablecloths. That’s not a negative, per se — the focus here is clearly on the food, and boy was it interesting.
G’s starter — the crispy pig cheeks, raddishes and watercress was bursting with flavor and (I thought) was the best meal of the night.
We needed some help from the (very knowledgable) server to decipher some of the dishes on the menu. Hare saddle? Roast middlewhite? Ox heart? Nose to tail indeed! These Americans were feeling like they were truly diving into British fare. G. went for the hare (yes, rabbit) and I the middlewhite (pork).
There is no denying that a considerable amount of skill went into the preparation of these dishes. And I am also convinced that St. John provides the best of breed for this genre of cooking. But honestly? The flavors were not my cup of tea.
The freshly-baked madeleines, however, were definitely my cup of tea. How in the world did they get them such a perfectly golden color?