on January 29, 2009
Getting a reservation at Gordon Ramsay is a bit tricky. I had to telephone them from France as they don't accept reservations on the 'net. Then they emailed me a form to fill out (!), with my credit card number so they could charge me an exhorbitant amount if we didn't show up. I also had to give them a phone number where they could confirm the day before that we were coming. You would think that all this rigamarole would be off-putting and it is, a bit. But it is more than worth the trouble!I'm pretty sure we were the only patrons who arrived on foot, after taking the tube to the nearest station in Chelsea. We still had to walk about a kilometer! Everyone else arrived in a cab. The restaurant itself is a bit understated and we actually walked right by it at first!When we finally got there, we were greeted in a friendly manner and shown to our table. They asked if this was our first visit, and were excited to learn that it was. "There'll be some surprises!" we were told. We settled in at our good-sized table with white linens and fresh flowers and started looking at the menu. We knew there was a 44 pound daily lunch menu, which we opted for. The other menus (there is no a la carte) were considerably more expensive - 89 and 119 pounds, I think.We placed our order with our quite friendly and not at all intimidating waiter who, we found, was from Dijon. He was delighted to hear that we were from Nice, so that got us off on a good footing.First to arrive was an amuse bouche of pumpkin soup. The plates were set before us, with a tiny ravioli of pumpkin and cream cheese; then the waiter poured the pumpkin soup into the plates. It was dreamy.My entree (first course) was, again, soup, this time ox cheek broth. The plate again was set before me: there were three canelloni filled with sweatbreads on a bright green leaf, surrounded by tiny baby vegetables. The waiter poured in the broth, which was so fragrant I nearly moaned. David's entree was chicken livers on a toasted round of bread, topped with apple pieces and tiny artichokes. Both were outstanding and we sopped up any sauce with the wonderful homemade bread. There were at least five choices of bread and both sweet and salted butter.We had ordered a 1/2 bottle of Chablis, which the waiter somehow made seem like a full bottle. It lasted the whole meal with ease.For the main course, David had ordered partridge with game chips. These chips were amazing, with a tiny leaf placed inside them; I don't know how they did this but they were intriguing and delicious. I ordered daurade, a fish we have often in Nice, with an artichoke butter sauce. Both dishes were served with, again, baby vegetables that were perfectly done. We spent quite a bit of time enjoying both these dishes, and again, sopping up the last bits of sauce.For dessert we ordered chocolate lavander tarts which were served with frozen milk, drizzled with chocolate. These too were outstanding and we thought we were done. But NO! There was more. AFter the dessert, they brought out a silver tree, standing about 6 inches high, with little balls of silver-covered chocolates on the branches. But that wasn't all. Next came a smoking silver box (filled with dry ice - I thought a genie would jump out and grant us three wishes!) with strawberry ice cream balls covered with white chocolate inside. This was way over the top. We couldn't let this just go by; we had to order a glass of sauterne to accompany such a fanciful dessert.Service every minute was impeccable, with up to five young men serving us at various times. No snootiness - just welcoming, friendly, knowledgable service. And in the ladies room there were 2 dozen, yes 2 dozen fresh white roses. We felt like royalty. A wonderful splurge.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009