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Thursday, 3 April 2014

50 B4 50-Elderflower & JSW

The Elderflower Restaurant

A new restaurant, The Elderflower opened in Lymington a week or so ago. 

Situated in the former Bluebird Restaurant on cobbled Quay Street, the building has been transformed from a rather dark old fashioned parlour, into a modern fresh and crisp dining room.

We were greeted by a happy and enthusiastic front of house team. As we went to our table we chatted to a high profile chef we know who was already enjoying his meal, there was also another local chef on another table, both naturally checking out this highly awaited new restaurant.

The £25 Lunch for three courses was impressive, both in terms of the choice and value. 

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Between us we enjoyed the rather fantastic starters of Curried Haddock & Mussel Soup, and the scrummy Spatchcock Quail with crispy angel hair, soft boiled quails eggs and quaildaise. (Nope, I'm not sure what quaildaise is either, forgot to ask, but it tasted nice!)

For main course, between us  we had Grilled Fillet of Pork with anise braised celery, yellow split peas, apple & grain mustard. I had actually became a vegetarian for the day and went for the Wild Garlic Dumplings with coast vegetables, pickled seaweed and Isle of Wight blue. All good again.

We had seen a number of desserts come out from the kitchen and they looked quite excellent creations. 

My sweet was an instant decision, Heavenly Chocolate with Bailey's & white chocolate, praline, nutty chocolate parfait. As we had gone for the set three course menu, my wife was even persuaded to order the Taste Of The Forest with truffle honey cake, pine cream and wild berry port. You will never guess who ate that!

One of our friends went for the Rhubarb Fool with poached rhubarb, rose meringue and floral glass, which was served in what seemed like a large shallow trifle bowl. Not normally excitable, her eyes almost exploded and she tucked in. Being too much of a lady to lick her plate in public, she simply had to settle for scraping the glass bowl until she got most of the pattern off!

The Head Chef Patron, Andrew Du Bourg was formerly Head Chef at 5* Chewton Glen hotel and Michelin starred Club Gascon, London. Andrew and his wife Marjolain have created The Elderflower to serve modern British food with a sprinkling of French flair using locally sourced produce from land and sea.

It is also clear that everything is designed to try and achieve a coverted Michelin star. In our opinion this could be well on the cards in the not to distant future.

The Elderflower is certainly a restaurant for food lovers who like something slightly different. 

Being spoilt with great restaurants in Milford on Sea we naturally normally love to eat in the village, however for an occasional change of scenery, The Elderflower is certainly a place we will be returning to.

The Elderflower Restaurant
4-5 Quay Street, Lymington, SO41 3AS

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50 B4 50 - JSW, Peterfield

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A bright Sunday and we were off to JSW in Petersfield with our good friends. A one hour drive and we were soon sitting at the table enjoying a pre dinner drink, home-baked bread and a free canap√© dip. 

Jon and I had played a blinder by buying the girls a seven course Tasting Menu meal at the Michelin starred JSW for Christmas. They were so impressed we had been so thoughtful, which is slightly different from our mutual 'always in trouble for something' position.

A bit of a result really, as we bought the meals on a 2 for 1 Groupon deal for £72.50, plus of course we had to go along too!

The 7 Course Tasting Menu

Olives, Bruschetta and Mackerel  Mousse
***
Jerusalem Artichokes Soup with Smoked Hazelnuts
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Scallops with Cauliflower Cheese and Cep
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***
Cured Salmon with Miso Vinaigrette and Broccoli
***
Smoked chicken and Parmesan Risotto
***
Lamb Three Ways with Hay Smoke
***
Vanilla Cheesecake, Ginger Beer Jelly and New Season Rhubarb
***
Yogurt & Chocolate Ganache with Granola, Tropical Fruit & Pineapple

The meal had an assured confidence. Whilst not the most spectacular meal, this establishment seem to focus on quality ingredients and clear favours. I even ate and enjoyed Cauliflower, which is of course a vegetable of the devil.

The smoked chicken and parmesan risotto was also a triumph. It sounded so simple, but the taste was amazing. Indeed, each course complemented the other, the portions perfect and service excellently timed.

As I was driving, my normal alcoholic consumption was zero. (The things I do for my wife. I know, she is so lucky!)  As our friends were also driving, it was surprising to discover our conversation stayed quite adult and we all remembered everything the next day, which is not what normally happens when we all go out!

JSW
20 Dragon Street, Petersfield, Hampshire GU31 4JJ
www.jswrestaurant.com

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50 B4 50-DINING CHALLENGE

Michelin Stars Collected So Far: 31

3 Michelin Star
London: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Berkshire-Bray: The Waterside Inn

2 Michelin Star
London: Hibiscus, Pied a Terre, The Latymer (Penny Hill Park Hotel), Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Marlow: Hand & Flowers (*3 Times!)
France: Georges V Hotel, Paris

1 Michelin Star
London: Benares, L’Autre Pied, Quilon, Social Eating House (*Twice!), Veeraswamy, The Savoy Grill, L’Escargot
Hampshire: Terrace Restaurant (Montague Arms), Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel), Petersfield: JSW.
Sussex: Ockenden Manor

*To read the review on any of the above restaurants, put 'restaurant name' in this blog's search box.


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No Michelin Stars, but restaurants visited since July 2013 that are worth a mention:

Milford on Sea | Verveine Fishmarket Restaurantwww.verveine.co.uk
London | Franco's www.francoslondon.com
Milford on Sea | La Perle - www.laperlemilford.co.uk
Mudeford | The Jetty - www.thejetty.co.uk
Yarmouth, IoW | The George - www.thegeorge.co.uk
London | Dishoom - www.dishoom.co.uk
London | J Sheeky Oyster Bar - www.jsheekeyoysterbar.co.uk
Lymington | The Elderflower - www.elderflowerrestaurant.co.uk
London | The Ivy - www.the-ivy.co.uk
Lymington | The Haven - www.havenrestaurant.co.uk
Devon | River Cottage HQ - www.rivercottage.net/hq 

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