Friday, May 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: Waterloo & City

My brother took me to Waterloo & City for an early birthday dinner Wednesday night (I stopped my cleanse early, after completing 20 days without alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy, flour, gluten, red meat or salt, but that's for a later post!).  The casual atmosphere was different than I expected and the food was delicious and innovative.  Here are some photos, with a review to follow.
I was expecting the atmosphere at Waterloo & City to be more upscale and stuffy, given the original, farm-fresh gastronomic cuisine that had me drooling all over their menu.  It felt more like a cool, casual pub with a large dining space and a long bar full of boisterous patrons, rather than a pretentious 'see and be seen' type of place, which was really refreshing.   It's always nice to go to a restaurant where you can actually focus on your food & your immediate company and not have to worry about being fancy.
I immediately ordered a Pimm's Cup (such a treat), and my brother and I perused their mouth-watering menu and chose a few stand-out dishes to share.
We started things off with the Pork & Truffle Pate w/ Madeira Jelly, Cornichons and Toasted Brioche.
The Pate came in a small jar, with a thin layer of the Jelly on the top.  The Pate on it's own was subtle and delicious, and the sweetness of the Jelly added a nice touch, although when spread on the Brioche, I could barely taste the Pate.  I would have preferred a crusty baguette rather than a buttery Brioche, which stole the flavor away from the Pate.
We then shared the Yellowtail Crudo w/ Shallot & Ginger Dressing and Shishido Peppers.  At first we thought it would be weird to introduce a Japanese-influenced dish into a rather hearty meal, but we decided to mix-and-match flavors rather than stick to one genre.  The Yellowtail was absolutely delicious.  The Shallot & Ginger dressing only enhanced the flavor of the fish, rather than overpower it and the Shishido Peppers added a nice, spicy crunch.
For our Main Course we had the Rotisserie Lamb w/ Crispy Shepherd's, Sunchokes & Gremolata.   This was probably the best-cooked Lamb I've ever had.  It was so incredibly juicy and tender and packed full of flavor.  The Lamb sat on three crispy, fried Shepherd's Pies, which kind of blew my mind.  If I could eat fried Shepherd's Pie every day of my life, I would die happy.  I'm usually really picky with sunchokes- they have a really distinct flavor that definitely is not for everyone, but these were seasoned & cooked perfectly.  We also shared the House Fries w/ Harissa Aioli, which were good.
For dessert we each had a glass of the Moscato di'Asti, a very sweet, almost honey-flavored dessert wine.   We also had the Raspberry Neopolitan w/ Pistachios & Basil Lime Sorbet.  I am a fan of very tart desserts, and this was definitely very tart.  The buttery crunch of the Shortbread underneath the lemony sweetness was delicious.  The Basil Lime Sorbet was so refreshing, I wish I could eat this everyday during the summer.
Overall, Waterloo & City is a great place to experience thoughtful, beautifully-plated and innovative food while enjoying a casual, unpretentious, relaxed environment.

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