Last night I had dinner at Galvin's on Park Lane. We'd been at the Serpentine Party, and for once I was actually ravenous when we arrived at the restaurant.
Depending on your sensibilities, Galvin either has a fabulous location, way up in the Hilton and with breathtaking views over London, or perhaps has dizzying effects on your stomach as you peer over the edge. The restaurant itself is very nicely laid out, and with a multi-tier effect, you don't feel the space so much. I assume it was laid out in this way to afford everyone a decent view out of the window...
The waiting staff were very attentive - the sommelier remembered having a little 'discussion' on burgundies with the Hubby the last time he'd been in - and the waitress brought us some piping hot bread straight out of the oven - yummy!
Now. Before I really begin - I really ought to remind you that I was RAVENOUS when we sat down, and that may have affected my use of so many superlatives - that and the gallon of champagne we'd had at the Serpentine!
The amuse was a tomato water - just fabulous.... Fabulous, fabulous - I'm definitely going to make the effort to make it having previously considered it too time-consuming.
I began with the pan-seared foie gras, spiced duck pastilla, confit lemon and date consommé. The foie gras was, yes, you've guessed it - fabulous. But actually the date consommé was even more incredible - I was spooning down to the last drop as the staff tried to take my plate. If I could have a flask of the stuff, I could climb Everest.
The Hubby had the terrine of foie gras, orange purée, spiced salt and toasted brioche. Now the Hubby is renowned in his search for a decent foie gras terrine - he's had it everywhere and is usually disappointed. Here he thought the flavour excellent, he loved the texture (it looked very smooth), he loved the orange, and even the brioche looked crisper and more robust than the usual offerings. I didn't even get a look in!
I then had the slow cooked fillet of beef, braised ox cheek, pomme purée and red wine jus. The ox cheek was deep and earthy, packed with flavour and a great contrast to the fillet. The mash was as smooth and silky as you'd expect, and the jus rich to the point of obsession. A proper 'you can wipe your finger across it' richness. And I did.
The Hubby had the real highlight though, Cotswold white chicken, tortellini, broad bean, wild garlic and jus gras. It looked stunningly pretty. The small amount I was allowed to steal was loaded with the garlic jus which tasted intensely of roasted garlic purée - smooth, delicious, full of flavour.
By this stage it was too late for pud, though they all looked delicious. We were brought some of the marshmallows, and the strawberry one's were particularly tasty, without doubt the best marshmallow I've eaten. I did also buy a bag of tea (!) - there were some amazing combinations, and I went for one with fennel seed, which aids digestion. I thought it might be a decent Kümmel substitute.
So. If you find yourself in need of a really flavoursome dinner, I'd definitely try Galvin! It has a very cute bar which fills up quite late (I noticed that they shut the doors between the bar and the restaurant when it started to fill). If you like heights the view is sensational. Also, the atmosphere is very relaxed - you could come here with friends and enjoy dinner without feeling as though your disturbing everyone else - a definite plus in this calibre of dining. It's going on my favourite's list.
[I couldn't possibly steal her pics, but unlike me, @ValerieFerman did manage to photo most of the dishes we ate! Here> Valerie's pics of her meal at Galvin]
Galvin at Windows also participates in Galvin's Chance - an employment programme for 18-24 year olds - have a look. Galvin's Chance Brochure