Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the last night in Yorkshire--LEVEN at Crathorne Hall

We met up with Will's teenhood theatrical pal Sue and her partner Steve who we have been in touch with over the years and dined at our hotel, CRATHORNE HALL just 10 miles south of Middlesborough and has a 4-Michelin hotel rating. Despite our problems with the manager, the hotel and dining room deserve kudos as our dinner was superb. BRUNO PAILLARD Brut Premiere Cuvee Champagne started us off in the bar with some wonderfule treats:

Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Roasted Punmpkin Seeds in soy(yum) Chef James Cooper who we did not meet (was he there?) has a local menu that shines and we all tried lots of great dishes.

Steve opted for the Terrine of Smoked Eel, Runner Bean Salad and 2-1/2 hour egg.....I asked what it was like...and Steve bluntly said--a poached egg!

My POACHED LOIN of RABIT with Roasted Local LANGOUSTINES, Lentils and Lentil Dressing and Crisp Prosciutto was a dream come true and also included surprise GNOCCHI and mini-lardons. We had asked for a bottle of DOMAINE LAFAGE Cuvee Centennaire 2006 Cotes de Roussillon WHITE and they had opened the same in RED...but no problem..,we liked it and sked for the white first, which was yummy too. The red was a Cuvee Authentique 2005, and after sitting an hour was perfect.

Hand Dived Scallops with Smoked Bacon Creme Caramel (hints of the Fat Duck here),Peas & Girolles was another brilliant composition. The entrees were less varied as three of us chose LOIN OF MILK FED VEAL(bacon wrapped) with Pressed BRISKET en croute, DUCK LIVER Toastie (a bit high on fat) and Hazelnut Butter.It was the simple column of brisket that blew our minds and mouths.

Will chose the tasty ROASTED POLLACK with Cauliflower Cheese, Crayfish Pie (like a stuffed Yorkshire pudding) and Mash with Poached Egg. HEAVEN as well.

Desserts were all superb with a RHUBARB & CUSTARD deconstructed composition; the former in a mason jar, the latter as creme brulee all with Crumble Biscuits. Raspberry & Lime Jelly came with Elderflower Arctic Roll (sponge cake and ice cream), Poppyseed Tuile but it was MY YORKSHIRE cheeses that blew away all four of us:
Katy's White Lavender --ewe's milk
King Richard III cow (less exciting)
Ribblesdale Smoked Cow
and the supreme but not too strong but sublime creamy YORKSHIRE BLUE from Shephard's Purse near Thirsk just 15 miles away....we had that
again and again this week!

Sadly the music in this magnifcent Edwardian mansion came from a boom box in the corner and amounted to sad 70's pop....other than was a sublime evening.

I apologize for yesterday's pub posting listing CHICKEN ASTA not PASTA, and I wish this google group system had a good food spell check!

ALAN --now in the Costwolds....more food reports soon.