So what does Valentine's Day really mean? Does it count for anything at all or is it just a money making ploy by corporate suits?
I don't really know the answer. All I know is that it's a brilliant excuse to push the boat out and have a fabulous meal with the one you love. We decided this year to dine at Petrus.
Petrus is a Michelin starred restaurant in Knightsbridge serving French cuisine. For a while now it has been the number one restaurant in London according to Trip Advisor and although you can't always rely completely on that site (everyone looks for different things from a dining experience, right?) based on a previous visit, their placing seems totally justified in my eyes. Not only because of the fantastic food but also because of the unpretentious and friendly service and the wonderfully laid back atmosphere inside.
So for this night, Petrus were laying on a 9 (yes, 9!) course tasting menu.
This was a special occasion. Our fifth Valentine's evening together spent at arguably one of the best restaurants in the world. I had to throw on a red number.
On arrival, we were warmly greeted and presented with a glass of pink champagne and canapes. The restaurant has a circular lay out and we had a great table against one of the windows facing the room - perfect for people watching!
Now I'm no seasoned restaurant reviewer. Please don't expect any arty-farty pretentious views or use of long confusion words and smug expressions. I just wanted to post you a few pretty photos and give a few comments on my evening...and the fooooood!
The feast opened with a white bean cappuccino with roasted langoustine. Ok it doesn't look much in the picture particularly but it was screaming with bold flavours and was so light it practically disappeared on your tongue.
Next up was the foie gras with rhubarb compote and hazelnut crumble. As with many people, I have a love/hate relationship with foie gras. I no longer order it in restaurants as I really don't like to think of what happened to get it there on my plate but at the same time it's just so flippin' delicious. And in this case I couldn't resist...and it really was worth the guilt. The hazelnut crumble and rhubarb were a perfect off-set to the rich foie gras and the flavours all came together so beautifully.
Definitely my favourite course of the evening.
Next, Isle of Skye scallops with compressed green apple, celery truffle and cider emulsion. Two portions of scallops in one day? Definitely a rarity!
As Alex isn't into his seafood, he had an alternative dish - a little rabbit pie!
Here is the roasted halibut with lobster, purple sprouting broccoli and a lemongrass and lobster consommé.
Oooh, the Wagyu sirloin with braised brisket, chard onions, potato gnocchi and jus. This meal really is a vegetarian's nightmare but a meat eater's dream. What a presentation.
As you would expect, the Wagyu was tender and oh so flavorsome. And with that gnocchi and jus too....heaven. The brisket was nice too but it can't compete with those massaged, beer-swigging cows.
By this point we were definitely ready for something sweet. And how sweet this was: passion fruit sorbet with exotic fruits and coconut foam...
Delicious and so refreshing.
And then this! A second dessert I hear you cry? Yes! A beautiful chocolate souffle (complete with cocoa heart) which was served with orange ice cream. Not quite rich enough for Alex but perfectly light for me - I was very close to exploding!
Having said that, there was still time for macaroons. Oh yes, the macaroons. Is it wrong that this was probably my highlight of the meal?
In flavours of pistachio, raspberry and salted caramel (oh yes), we couldn't help but order a second helping...
A very special evening was had and rounded off with a beautiful single red rose. Pure class.