Not an award ceremony, just a few notes from the year that has been tough on us all:
Best New Burger - Bar Music Hall, Curtain Road.
Bonus points for hand-made chips genuinely cut out of potatoes.
Worst Execution of a strong idea - Cowshed, Whiteladies Road, Bristol
An independent steak house with a tempting menu and great layout. The prices, oh the prices.
Some not so positives:
OFM - What is happening? I so look forward to it and it disappoints more with every month.
(Addendum 31/01/10) 2010 has started with an awful edition. No insight, little wit and thinly veiled agendas...)
Joint worst eating experience of the year
Zigo's in Angel - Italian? Spanish? Lebanese? No, just shit.
Bertorelli, Charlotte Street - I was worried when I saw the chef stagger out of the kitchen to hand the dish to the waitress. Owned by the same chain that operates French counterpart Chez Gerard, an unsuspecting punter might have expected better. Its French cousin across the street had turned off its machinery by the time we arrived, which is what drove us into the arms of Bertorelli.
Writers don’t write about chains or food franchises. The idea is that the one near you is the same as the one near me, that living in Leeds or London should not make a difference to your dining experience. In the case of both Chez Gerard and Bertorelli it is the same from Charlotte Street to Chancery Lane this is supposedly true.
Its steak main was a meagre 8oz for £22, not that I was minded to order it, but so doing could have resulted in the greatest swindle of the year. Writing about what you didn’t eat is somewhere between unorthodox and ...
Service frankly dealt with the paucity of custom, management had craftily placed a few cronies at the bar to feign the appearance of anything other than a morgue.
If I get sued for this, it is a sacrifice worth making.
2010... more updates, with shorter pieces and more thoughts.