Staying in London for a week and a half, we enjoyed many different meals at a wide range of dining destinations. From an evening of snacks in the executive lounge of our hotel to lunch at the The Furlong Restaurant at Royal Ascot, we delighted in everything we ate. Over the past two weeks I have shared the details of classic British meals and Hyde Park picnics. Today, I offer a glimpse of a fine dining experience.
On our second to last night in London, we made reservations at Hide. Although it was within walking distance of our hotel, I was attired in heels, so we took a quick taxi ride on a warm June night. We were seated promptly at a table for two. We were provided with menus, water options, and a seat for my handbag.
After an afternoon at the theater, dressed for a fine evening out, we were ready for an indulgent dinner. While I perused the wine list for something special, my husband reviewed the menu for an appetizer that would impress. I chose a bottle of 2008 Domaine De Chevalier, while my husband decided on caviar.
The wine was a wonderful choice. Full-bodied with nicely aged tannins, it was a treat unto itself. I could have made a meal out of the wine and some bread, but that was not the point of our meal. After some time sipping our first glasses of wine, our caviar arrived.
The caviar was served with crème fraiche, chives, and pickled shallots, as well as toasted crystal bread. Oh, caviar, the tiny pops of brininess savored on crusty bread with a mix of toppings was satisfying on so many levels. The assortment of textures and flavors made this a true sensory joy to start our evening.
This introductory course was followed by a salad for me and a second appetizer for my husband and then an entrée for each of us. However, I ate only one of each, so my review will follow what was served on my side of the table for two.
I opted for the candy-stripe beet and strawberry salad. This may have been the most unique salad I have ever eaten. The beets were roasted and cut into bite-sized pieces and were tossed with tiny strawberries. That may seem typical, and it is. What made this salad unique was that it was topped with a cherry blossom granita. The granita not only added flavor and kept the salad icily chilled, it also added a snowflake sort of texture to the dish. It is a salad that I would love to replicate at home.
For my main dish I opted for octopus. At a restaurant of this caliber I knew I would receive nothing less than divine, and I was correct. Beautifully plated, it was thoroughly tender on the inside with a nice bit of crispness on the outside. The white miso provided some extra flavor while not overwhelming the delicate nature of the octopus. The garnishes of grapes and lovage provided more than just beauty, they added nice contrasts of sweet and earthy notes. We also had sides of buttered Jersey royals and charred broccoli with vinaigrette. Both were delicious, but I wanted to focus my appetite on the octopus and sampled only a bite or two of each.
Thus, it will come as no surprise that I did not order a dessert, nor did my husband. Blissfully sated from this meal, we opted to leave after three courses. However, the next time in London, I may order differently to leave room for dessert, as every one I saw looked amazing.
Hide proved to be exactly what we expected: a deliciously indulgent evening for two.