Thursday, 8 November 2007

Bruton House, Somerset

As a double birthday treat Granny decided she wanted to take the family and plus ones to Bruton House, a recently taken over restaurant in the heart of Bruton in Somerset. Having read some fantastic reviews we were all enormously excited, but equally rather sceptical that such a super place had suddenly arrived on our door step.

As we entered through the impressive royal blue doors into the reception area I immediately warmed to the place. Subtle lighting, charming staff, good smells from the kitchen, great Louis Armstrong burbling along in the back ground and lovely cream sofas to melt into.

While we sat in the reception and pondered over the inspired Winter menu we were offered some delightful little nibbles to wet the appetite; vast plump and juicy olives, homemade parsnips crisp and mini filo cones filled with ricotta and caviar. A great start.

We all struggled to decide our choices as everything sounded delectable! However, the madre dee was fantastic. She gave a comprehensive low down about everything on the menu and this prevented me from doing my usual of asking endless questions about this and that!

The dinning area was superb; good layout, soft subtle lighting, crisp table clothes; it all complimented the beautiful features of the building including the magnificent stone fire place and old beams. The service throughout the evening was fantastic.. things just happened or simply appeared in front of you.

Now I always get very excited when a small spoon is placed in front of me, especially when I know it has nothing to do with my starter! Our amuse bouch for the evening was an exquisite lobster bisque in a shot glass with an inch thick foam on top. We were all seriously impressed with this. It effortlessly slipped down ones throat with its velvet texture and offered a wonderful depth of flavour.

Then came the starters. Dad and I went for a cracker: Dorset crab, grapefruit and cucumber salad. It was beautiful to look at, light in texture and the mix of flavours exposed in your month. First the rich crab, followed by the zing of the grapefruit and finally the cucumber jelly cleansed the pallet. A 1st class dish. The scallops looked spectacular, but it was pretty hefty having 3 whopping scallops, cauliflower cheeses and pastry. Delicious, but all abit much.

I do love abit of fish but decided on this occasion I was totally sold by the meat dishes on the menu: Wild rabbit with pancetta, ravioli and consommé, Roast grouse with traditional accompaniments, Roasted loin of lamb, tomato cous-cous and kidneys and Seared Dexter beef sirloin with bourguinon sauce and girolles. As you can see.. what a choice! I opted for the lamb and was not in the slightest bit disappointed. Perfectly cooked pink meat, the kidneys added a pleasing kick to the dish but didn't over power it and the mildly spiced / fragrant couscous was the perfect compliment. The others all gave positive reports, especially from mum who had the grouse.

There was no question about whether or not we were having puddings; apricot crumble souffle with apricot sorbet was an absolute must. It was simply incredible. In short it was definitely the best souffle I have ever had!

We had such a super evening and I will definitely be going back. Bruton House offers effortless charm, discrete elegance and bloody brilliant food. Ideal for a celebration or a romantic dinner. The only slight hiccup about the evening was that we were booked in for dinner at 8pm on 22nd Oct... yes, a bad clash with Rugby World Cup Final... and hence Brownys absence on this occasion!

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