2017 witnessed the birth of Life at the End of a Fork, and as we roll into a new year we wanted to quickly glance back at some of the highs of the previous 12 months.
Whilst we have enjoyed eating at a multitude of restaurants, a few are deserving of special mention for providing the highest level of culinary comfort.
Otto’s continues to be one of London’s best kept dining (semi) secrets, serving the best steak tartare in London, some of the best foie gras, and a pressed duck for two which is my number one must try dish in 2018, all done with great theatricality and skill. They also won my undying admiration by refusing to bow to a horde of militant vegans who laid siege to them for months in 2015, in an attempt to bully the restaurant into changing its menu. They didn’t change a single comma. Full marks for food, full marks for standing their ground.
Berners Tavern in Fitzrovia is one of the most spectacular dining rooms in the country, walls decked head to toe in paintings, the bar a towering mass of shimmering spirits and glinting glass, the ceiling magisterial. It is a special place to eat in. Their slow-cooked lamb shoulder for two might have been the best thing I ate in 2017 – after 99% of the food I’ve eaten over the last 12 months has faded to grey, this lamb is still vivid in my memory.
Finally, St John Bread and Wine must be called out, for acting as an ever-reliable food pit stop on the walks from the City where we work to Aldgate where I lived for much of 2017. Their menu was in constant flux, and almost everything that appeared on it was interesting, surprising, and delicious. And affordable. A stop at this excellent restaurant made the journey back to a small, stuffy flat bearable.
If these three restaurants warrant special mention, which particular dishes in 2017 rose above the rest? Below are the ten best things we ate in 2017:
- Meat fruit at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread)
- Duck liver and foie gras on toast at St John Bread and Wine
- Stone bass ceviche at Wright Brothers, Spitalfields
- Stuffed courgette flower at Barafina
- Slow cooked Herdwick Lamb Shoulder at Berners Tavern
- Tartare de Boeuf Simmental at Otto’s
- Tipsy cake at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
- Deconstructed kebab at Palomar
- Classic duck burger at Comptoir Gascon
- Risotto of wild mushrooms at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons
Here’s to another year in pursuit of an edible El Dorado! Bon Voyage!