Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Green Man and French Horn - Jan 2013

Now I have to admit to being slightly inebriated when I first visited The Green Man and French Horn. It was the glorious day that Bradford City triumphed over Arsenal in the Capital One Cup. Not a day seared into most people's memories, but enough to send me into paroxysms of clappy handed joy as I watched the giant killing unfold.

In fairness, all I really needed was something to soak up a number of pints. The output from this cracking little newcomer and youngest sibling of Terroirs, Brawn and Soif, was almost certainly beyond my faculty. So good though that, while not capable of sobering me up, it did cause me to drag a non football obsessed guest back to confirm what I'd witnessed.

We're in mixed small plate territory here. Lots of lovely little ideas, pulled together with a loose thread of the Loire Valley, intended as much as anything to show off an outrageously interesting cellar.

A thick slab of pork rillette was pushed eagerly into the contents of a hearty, fresh bread basket and consumed within minutes, hearty and flavoursome. My main plate was, as it had been on the previous visit, one of the simplest dishes I've had in a long time, three beautifully buttery fat mackerel, served with butter, garlic and a spritz of lemon. The quality was superb and the simplest of touches was all they needed.

Alongside, I opted for a grassy almost cidery fresh Cabernet Franc, refreshing and unexpected. A punch in the mouth of clean flavours that it through the thickness of the pork and the fish perfectly.

Poached pear was almost unexpectedly rich after the simple fare so far and a little too sweet for me, reclining like an early Rita Hayworth in a limpid caramel pool. I couldn't stop eating till it was gone, but in hindsight I'd have snuck in another small plate.

It was only after I'd been for the first time I realised the background to the restaurant and its owners, the terroir if you will. It was obviously going to be a winner. Until that point I got to experience the sheer joy that comes with making a real find, of discovering a new restaurant that will stay in your little black book for years. The fact it's a known quality doesn't change that fact.

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