When my girlfriend told me she had booked for us to have dinner at L’Autre Pied, I was very excited. L’Autre Pied is a high-end michelin star french restaurant based in Marylebone. It has a michelin star and is the sister restaurant of Pied à Terre.
My girlfriend had booked the ‘Star Deal’ offer through Bookatable, which consisted of a six course set menu and glass of fizz which was priced at £39 a person. I don’t know about you but I thought that was a pretty good deal.
After sitting down at the restaurant, being on a set menu the only thing that needed choosing was the wine. Whilst I was at a French restaurant, I decided to go against the grain with a bottle of the 2012 Pannonhalmi Hemina from Hungary (£45). An inspired choice if I say so myself.
The first course was actually an amuse-bouche taking the form of ‘Chilled Pea Mint Soup, Ricotta, Lemon and Spring Onion’. It was served in a tiny tiny little bowl and came with a tiny tiny spoon to eat it with. I had two spoonfuls and it was gone, which begs the question, can you really call an amuse-bouche a course? Clearly you can if you are L’Autre Pied…
Up next was ‘Heritage Tomato Salad 2016’ which was served with buffalo mozzarella and a pastry tuile. Sigh, another cold course. At least the bread was delicious and actually warm. I very much enjoyed the onion brioche roll and the walnut sourdough. In all fairness the tomato salad was pleasant enough but other than the tuile, it’s something most of us would make on a warm Saturday for lunch.
The third course was ‘Poached Cod, Brown Shrimp, Butter Lettuce, Cracker Crumble’. Finally, a hot course and a delicious one at that. The fish was cooked perfectly with the brown shrimps adding a real taste of the sea. The cracker crumble had been deep fried and added to the dish in texture only. I found it a little too greasy with the butter sauce on the shrimps and lettuce.
Following the cod was ‘Roast Gressingham Duck, Crushed Celeriac, Celery, Walnuts, Brown Sauce’. This was definitely the highlight of the meal. The duck was cooked perfectly, beautifully pink and tender. An interesting addition to me were the walnuts. Not something I have ever had, or thought to have, with duck, but it works. It really works. Everything about this dish was a flavour sensation and I would gladly had stolen it off my girlfriends plate had she not also swiftly devoured it all.
The ‘Pre Dessert’ was a strawberry parfait with toasted miniature meringues, raspberry and vanilla ice cream. This was very nice indeed and I would quite happily have had this as the ‘main’ dessert. The ice cream in particular was outstanding.
Last but by no means the least, was ‘Blueberry and Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Yoghurt Sorbet’. This was a delight to look at and a good end to the meal. I felt there could have been a stronger flavour of blueberry and lemon in the cheesecake, but the sorbet was exceptional and helped lift the dish.
Overall, the food at L’Autre Pied was good. The duck was by far the outstanding dish of the evening, but the other courses fell a little to a lot short of matching that quality. However, for £39 per person the food was good value for money, especially considering the same menu booked directly through the restaurant (rather than Booktable) will set you back £65 per person. Ouch.