We arrived for a birthday celebration in the pouring rain and were ushered through to a cozy waiting area with big squishy sofas and cocktail menus. Having previously decided upon the tasting menu we only needed to decide on drinks. The ladies decided upon a bottle of Mount Vernon Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, the driver a virgin G&T and the birthday boy enjoyed a local craft beer. Whilst still in the waiting area we were delivered a little puffed ball of loveliness as a little amuse-bouche. I couldn’t tell you what it was but it was hot, gooey and served on a bed of pebbles 🤣
The lovely staff then took us to our table in the dining room where we were served warm sourdough. Now I’m a sucker for bread, I live on the stuff, and it took all my willpower not to eat it all immediately and to wait for the first course. Saying that, it took just as much willpower to not wolf that down too. The Chilled Isle of Wight Tomatoes were beautiful. Accompanied by a brioche with tomatoes, gel and freeze dried herby bits it was a great start to a lovely evening.
A massive scallop came next with a creamy sauce, followed by something I’d never tried before, partridge. Now I am not a fan of game, I find it too rich and would never pick it from a menu. That’s why we like these tasting menus, they make you try things that you never normally would. The frozen liver pate, crispy skin and damson were lovely but I still found the meat too rich for me personally. That didn’t stop me eating it all though. After a nice bit of cod in a curry sauce, came some more game. I’m ashamed to admit that the nicely cooked bit of venison was really not my thing. I ate the beetroot and passed the meat to my husband. By the time dessert arrived we were most of the way through our second bottle of wine and I was already full. As I am definitely the owner of a special ‘dessert stomach’ I managed to polish off apple crisps, crumbled biscuits and ice cream to finish but we still weren’t done. Opting for a cheese board to share too, by the end you could have rolled me home. Our after dinner petit fours were enjoyed back in the lounge with coffee. The little macarons were especially delicious.
Throughout the whole evening, the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and polite. Our waiter and the sommelier were particularly helpful, and we even got a special birthday plate for the birthday boy to finish up.
Obviously as the chefs are world class, and as the Northcote has a Michelin star the bill was rather high, but as a one off treat it was a great evening out doing our favourite thing with some of our favourite friends.