Menu hidesfood taleswith a twistin the taste
The location of this week's venue might leave some people scratching their heads, but the food on offer should ensure that PrÃ©vost is soon firmly established on the city's culinary map.
The new hidden jewel for diners - it is tucked away behind a solicitors’ office in Priestgate in the city centre - only opened last week... yes it is that new.
I was invited along by head chef Lee Clarke to offer some feedback - and felt it deserved a much wider audience, when in normal circumstances reviews are anonymous and unannounced.
The location and the exterior are unassuming, but the interior of what is predominantly a centuries-old building has been lovingly refurbished and the decor simple but effective with pieces of art dotted about and some soft seating around the bar and in a snug, complete with wood burner, coffee tables and bookshelves.
Ultimately it is all about the food experience - and a nine-course dinner, plus snacks and petit fours with coffee, costing £75 is just that (there is a three course and five course alternative).
The menu informs diners that “flavour is at the heart of everything we do” and there is also a clever colour-coded guide to the different courses.
And if that doesn’t help, the waitresses did spell out what was on the plate with each course, because the menu doesn’t tell the whole story and there were a few surprises over the course of the next three hours.
The word “snack” does a disservice to what came first, delicious quail scotch eggs and a lovely light, refreshing pea espuma.
The tomato tartare with fermented garlic (you could smell it coming) and olive oil gave a hint of what was to come flavourwise.
The interesting chervil root soup - woodland and mustardy flavours said the notes - came in a small jug with some new and crisped potatoes, and I got my first taste of allium with locally foraged St George’s mushrooms and Jersey potatoes and an egg yolk.
Next up, a strong, meaty brawn sat very well with the taste-of-the-sea lobster and monk’s beard (sea asparagus much like samphire).
A highlight for me - speaking as someone that doesn’t like salmon - was the organic salmon cured in Copper House gin from Adnams that just dissolved on the tongue, with the divine fresh, crisp asparagus.
The rib of beef was stunning, oozing flavour, the mash thick and buttery and the salt-baked carrots packed a great salty aftertaste.
The endive and raisin “salad” with mature Parmesan-tasting cheese shavings changed direction before we tucked into the yogurt with crisp, sticky lavender caramel and sweet-as-you-like plums, before the single estate chocolate, with a few hidden crunchy and fruity surprises, moved things up another level in terms of dessert heaven.
The service was impeccable and the food experience from presentation to flavour memorable at what has to be a welcome addition to the scene in Peterborough for serious food lovers.