Initially, we had our doubts about the front of house team as menus took some time to come and on asking our waiter why the room was so hot, for it seemed awfully hot - was the airconditioning not working perhaps - he grinned at us and said 'we have the heating on!' and then walked away still grinning like they were playing a juevenille prank on the diners. Through the course of the meal however the service proved itself and two stars of the front of house show were James, the Assistant Head Sommelier who was simply excellent in engaging with us about the wine (more of that later) and Alice, our waitress for the second half of the meal who was incredibly helpful as we sought to understand the dishes in front of us.
The dining room itself was okay but is on the small side giving a slightly claustrophic feel when we first arrived and all tables were taken. While the back room doesn't have any street level windows, it nevertheless had an atrium style skylight window so benefited from natural light. Beyond that, the tables are laid in a traditional white table cloth style.
We chose the tasting menu which priced at £90 for eight courses is we think reasonable money for a restaurant at this level. We note the set lunch menu at £23.50 looks exceptional value for those on a budget yet the food on that menu looked every bit as complex as dishes on the a la carte. We also chose the paired wines, and here, we had a bit of fun because James our sommelier wouldn't tell us what we were drinking till after we had tried the wine with the food. In turn, this allows a bit of fun of an old fashioned guessing game (is it a Riesling? No.) while also allowing you to approach the pairing conception free. James did it all with much character and it added to our enjoyment of the meal.
Starting with the amuse bouche, we had a potato gnocchi with Parmesan, carrot mousse with brown shrimp, and foie gras and poppy seed crisp. A nice collection for sure and a nice change to the veloute that more often than not appears on these occasions. The carrot mousse wasn't entirely to Mrs CC's taste but the foie gras and gnocchi were appreciated by us both.
It also has to be said that we're still a little cross that the incident at L'Autre Pied was never remedied for they had promised that they would contact us to provide a resolution (they didn't) and they said that when we came to Pied a Terre they would do something to make up for our previosuly spoiled meal (and they didn't). We can't fault the kitchen for this and clearly the incident has slipped through the cracks for the management team. The problem is, with the matter never properly settled for us, in a coin flip situation between Pied a Terre, The Ledbury or The Square, it's PT that will likely lose out when we choose where to eat; situation resolved.
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