Tuesday, August 20, 2013

there's nothing like THE NARE in Cornwall for class and cuisine (8-6-13)

Our dinner in Cornwall was at the secluded, serene and oh so English resort called The NARE. It overlooks Nare Head and its south coast beach with beautiful gardens running from the hotel down the hillside. I am sorry we didn't have more time to spend here, but am glad we made it to this remote (only small one lane roads covered by arched grassy foliage lead in and out) yet classy spot.
There are two restaurants and we chose the set menu classier one and enjoyed every bite. I mentioned to the sommelier that we really liked the English white dry Bacchus and he said he had a Cornwall Bacchus 2011 from Camel Valley right nearby, it was an instant hit.
We chose the appetizer trolley (how old fashioned is that) which allowed us to try oh so many different items which included, but are not limited to, Chicken Salad, Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, Celeriac Salad, Portloe Crab(caught right offshore)--which actually mixed with the celeriac was a big hit--Pickled Herring Roll Mops, Anchovies, and buttery Scallop Ceviche. The breads were simple and tasty: seeded white and brown, but the butter, as always, was rich, local and worth the indulgence.
The next course was what I liked to call the "inter" course, excuse my terminology.It was a MACKEREL FILLET with Curried Mussel Broth, Coriander and Cress, The small plate was another great taste of local fish and produce.
Samuel adored the Escalope of VEAL which came with Sweetbreads, but since each dish is served tableside, you can pick and choose what items you want more and less of! He chose the scallops rather than the sweetbreads and skipped the Broad Beans in favor of the Potato Galette.
Will had a superb HALIBUT with Sauteed Potatoes, Spinach & Asparagus in Bearnaise Sauce while I went whole hog for the amazing local Grilled PORTLOE Lobster, caught offshore just that day by a young intern at the hotel we met earlier!
The lobster can come cold, Americaine, Newburg or Thermador, but this simple seasoned and grilled version needed nothing else, not even the seasoned garlic butter.
The sommelier suggested a South African chardonnay that we forgot the name of because it was so intensely cloying of oak that I was taken back to the days of early California oak splintered chard.
The dishes also come with vegetable bundles of asparagus, carrots and green beans each wrapped in a slice of zucchini that were simply adorable. Other sides served family style included Braised Chicory and Buttered Cornish Potatoes.
Samuel thought about ice cream but when the dessert trolley arrived went right for the CHOCOLATE BROWNIE DELICE GATEAU, which Will joined him in.
I had fresh local Raspberries, Strawberries and Peaches with Cornwall Clotted Cream, as I knew this would be my last chance for the amazing treat we had with our cream tea earlier that afternoon in the hotel.
As if the clotted cream was not enough, we went on to the cheese which here was served with a yummy chutney for a change and we revisited some of our new friends:
Sharpham Elmhirst triple cream
but also made new friends with
Sue's Celtic Gold which is an intense cow curdwashed with cider
White Nancy-a nice soft goat
Montgomery Cheddar
Cornish Crumbly which is a creamy treat from Whalesborough and
of course Cornish Blue.
Again we enjoyed a Noble Late Harvest Riesling from South Africa but this from 2007, even better.