Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Next Time, Stick to Pizza; Going Posh with the Tots in Tow? You Won't Always Get the Star Treatment

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Next Time, Stick to Pizza; Going Posh with the Tots in Tow? You Won't Always Get the Star Treatment

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON RAMSAY

ALL dressed up in our finest, we descended upon Restaurant 1837, in Browns Hotel on Albermarle Street. With the earliest table at 7pm, we decided to leave Matilda at home with the nanny. We were greeted by newly installed maitre d' Angelo Maresca, who has come out of his recent retirement from The Savoy Grill to take up the position.

The kids entered the dining room with gasps of excitement, thinking they had come to the dining room of Harry Potter's Hogwarts; a long room with wooden panelling and a fireplace large enough to hide Hagrid.

The room was dotted with trolleys and the clientele could politely be described as mature. "Why has that woman in the corner got blue hair?"

asked Meg. "Well spotted," I replied, as there were fewer than 16 people in this 85-seater dining room on a Friday night.

The large team of waiters reminded me of grandparents whose grandchildren have just sprung a surprise visit, but they went out of their way to look after the zoo, who rose to the occasion and behaved immaculately in the quiet dining room.

The maitre d' arrived with six vast menus which the kids could easily have used as boogie boards, but struggled to open and read. There was no children's menu available, but the sous-chef (the head chef had ominously "already left", according to our waiter) kindly agreed to cook a special pasta for the twins.

For starters, we played it safe and ordered four portions of smoked salmon from the creaking trolley. Our waiter elegantly carved tissue-paper-thin slices of salmon and served them with a muslinwrapped lemon, or, as Jack called it, "a present". The salmon vanished to approving noises.

Less "mmmmm" was my starter of salad of pigeon bois boudran. The pigeon was undercooked and was served with a tomato ketchup sauce - a marinade made with shallots, tabasco and tomato sauce.

Tana's tomato, Cornish crab and red pepper open ravioli was as many miles away from an open ravioli as McDonald's is from winning a Michelin star.

The chef 's special of pasta with peas, cream and Parmesan was simple and nice but a little bland; no Dolmio here, but an elegant silver salver of ketchup appeared swiftly when asked for, and with not so much as a raised eyebrow. …

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