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Tomorrow night

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lapinrose, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

  2. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

  3. angiebabe

    angiebabe Occasional commenter

    Oh do. I used a Groupon voucher for a steak dinner for 2 (but bought 2 because I took 4 of us). I knew the place had been a bit grim on an earlier visit but heard there was a new chef and that things were looking up.
    Whilst the deal said 'steak dinner and 2 sides' they said we could choose anything off the menu or specials. The most expensive was t-bone steak (with 1 onion ring and tomato + chips etc as garnish - 2 of us opted for that). The food was delicious but our portions were definitely not as big as the other diners! I couldn't make a fuss for two reasons a) I didn't want to appear greedy (as my size tells all I have a good apetite but I'm embarrassed about that) b) the meal was a treat for my brother's birthday plus the birthday of another friend and his wife. Oh and the venue was still very grim and lacking atmosphere - wont be going there again.
    I know you will get fab food so what I'm really interested to hear is whether the Groupon voucher will influence the experience.
  4. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Same place in Cooksbridge, angie? I've been past it on the train, but we're driving there tomorrow.
  5. angiebabe

    angiebabe Occasional commenter

    No no - I'm up in the North West. I shall name and shame - The Ship Inn near Ormskirk.
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    OK, I have named the place we're going to so shall submit a fair report after dining there.
    I'll treat the experience like a marking a food practical!!
  7. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Isn't the place Cosmos went to for her anniversary dinner a MPW place?
  8. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Excellent, steak cooked beautifully, 8 large thrice cooked chips, glass of red, puds I had eton mess and o/h had a divine creme brulee. Good value.
  9. angiebabe

    angiebabe Occasional commenter

    So glad you had a good time.
  10. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    O/H had a pint of Governor's ale, here's the story. Prices have increased since this tale was told.

    <font id="yui_3_2_0_1_13348717682402432" color="black" face="arial" size="2">The
    Governor was a feisty greyhound who loved to kill chickens. After being
    caught in the act on a country estate near Leeds, he was passed on to
    racing fanatic Frank White, who took the dog to race at tracks in

    The lively animal broke records at Halifax, Keighley and Pontefract and won 32 of 28 races.

    &ldquo;He originally raced under the name Fearless but after those races he
    was only ever known by one name,&rdquo; explains Frank&rsquo;s son, chef Marco
    Pierre White, who named his first malt ale brew after the racer.

    The drink is best taken with food, says White, so the ale will be on tap
    at The Rainbow Inn in Cooksbridge, the third Sussex restaurant (after
    The Chequers Inn, Maresfield, and The Kings Arms, Fernhurst) in his
    ever-expanding Wheeler&rsquo;s Inn chain.

    &ldquo;The Governor ran on unlicensed, handicapped, &lsquo;flapping tracks&rsquo; and, as
    favourite, always ran from trap one which meant he had to come from

    &ldquo;He was incredible. So we named the ale after him. Also because The Governor is a great name for a pint.&rdquo;

    White told the story at a low-key opening for the refurbished inn, which
    he now co-owns with long-term owner Tarquin Gorst. The event was
    followed by a grand auction for White&rsquo;s favourite charity Help For
    Heroes (he has twice cooked for the Army, once in Afghanistan and once
    in England).

    The tale of The Governor is relevant for a couple of reasons.

    It reminds us how far White has come &ndash; from humble beginnings in
    working-class Leeds (cue whippet and flat cap gag) &ndash; but also relates to
    his new project&rsquo;s guiding ethos.

    He says The Rainbow Inn is a restaurant that serves pints rather than a pub that serves food.

    Drinkers are welcome to stop by for a pint at the bar but the place is primarily a destination for eating.

    &ldquo;I hate the word gastropub,&rdquo; jokes White, as he knocks back another Governor. &ldquo;It makes me think of gastroenteritis.&rdquo;

    He reckons people want to eat out two or three times a week, so it&rsquo;s important to have something for everyone&rsquo;s pockets.

    &ldquo;If I wanted to take my dear lady for a slap-up meal or have lunch with my friends, I can do that.

    &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about value for money. The key to Wheeler&rsquo;s is to do food and to do it well.&rdquo;

    White is not interested in the 18-course chemistry approach favoured by
    his old prot&eacute;g&eacute; Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray. He prefers a
    thick slice of fish or top quality meat and three courses.

    Starters on the dinner menu include Wheelers pea and ham soup, &pound;6.50,
    and Morecambe Bay potted shrimps, brown bread and butter, &pound;9.50.

    Mains include roast venison with sauce chocolate Amer, chox a la cr&egrave;me,
    &pound;19.50, and Scottish rib-eye steak &agrave; l&rsquo;escargot with herbs, sauce
    b&eacute;arnaise, &pound;22.50.

    Desserts at &pound;6.50 include Mr White&rsquo;s rice pudding, prunes d Agen &agrave; l&rsquo;Armagnac and Box Tree banana Eton mess.

    That final dish is a nod to White&rsquo;s early career. After leaving school
    with no qualifications he trained at the Hotel St George in Harrogate
    and Ilkley&rsquo;s Box Tree.

    At 33 he became the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin
    stars (that most formal of award schemes) but he has never taken to the
    idea eating should be a haughty pursuit.

    To keep the atmosphere informal at The Rainbow Inn there are
    illustrations by former Daily Mail and Express cartoonist JAX on every
    wall, and lace tablecloths &ndash; &ldquo;all white is too serious, lace is what
    your grandma put out when she wanted to put on a nice spread&rdquo;.

    While the dark pine walls and new seating area that replaces the old
    entrance are White&rsquo;s vision, the man doing the cooking is Chris Warwick.
    He worked with White at London restaurants The Hansome Cab (White
    co-owns with Piers Morgan) and The Punchbowl (White co-owns with Guy

    Though with White working seven days a week and travelling thousands of miles a year with his driver, he will never be far away.</font>
  11. Yes it was a MPW place we went to for our anniversary. I would consider going again for one of the early evening deals but can't agree that potted shrimps at &pound;9.50 is good value for money - it seems very expensive to me! I'm probably just out of touch these days....
    I'm glad you enjoyed it though lapin.
  12. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

  13. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    We ate at his pub, The Yew Tree Inn in Highclere near Newbury (not all that far from H and Belle) a few years ago.
    We had a great value lunch deal at around &pound;16 for 3 courses - memorable were D's potage creme du barry (that's cauliflower soup!) and my confit of lamb with garlicky haricots blancs. The beer was excellent - Tim Taylor Landlord, which to be fair is nearly always excellent.
    Two things that stuck in my mind though. One was the service - a little smug and cocky, although that might have been our waiter. The other was that all of the food was a little too salty - and I love my salt. D's pie (can't remember the filling) was extremely salty. It was fine ultimately; nothing was inedible but we had to stop to buy some water on the way home!
    I'd still pop in and go again, though. It's on the way home from visits to either of our parents, just off the A34, so it's certainly convenient,

    I've only just seen this thread, lapin - is the groupon offer still on? I know they run them for a few days sometimes.
  14. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    No idea Nick, o/h got it several weeks ago. However some of the set price menus don't look too bad. The staff are excellent btw, very professional.

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