Food Roganic perfection

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Richard Ward, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. We've spent the last 2 days in Cartmel on Simon Rogan's 2 night break - this includes 2 nights B&B in L'Enclume House, dinner at 1* Rogan and Co on the first night and dinner at 2* L'Enclume on the 2nd.

    I will try to be as brief as possible, but bear with me...

    Rogan and Co is probably a provincial equivalent of places like La Trompette or Kitchen W8 in that it is basically a very casual, relaxed, low key bistro type place that also has very good service and very good food. Menu is a la carte only with dishes priced individually, and is probably one of the cheapest 1* alc menus in the country, with 3 courses typically coming in at around £45. Style is fairly simple, stripped back dishes allowed to let good quality ingredients shine. Quality was solid 1* level, if nothing hugely exciting or special, a couple of highlights as follows:

    Salad of homegrown tomatoes, goat's curd and tomato water
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    Beef short rib with pomme puree and bone marrow sauce and crumb
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    Drinks are well priced by the glass and bottle, so we took by the glass throughout - beers for aperitif (as it was such a warm day) and a few different wines, the pick of which was a Spanish Moscatel with my dessert.

    Now for L'Enclume.

    Last night, I think for the first time, I truly experienced food perfection. This was our 3rd visit to L'Enclume, and easily the best - the menu was simply outstanding. 15 courses of perfectly executed, balanced, seasoned and flavoured food. For anyone who doesn't know, this is Simon Rogan's flagship restaurant, serving 1, no choice tasting menu based on very local, seasonal ingredients, many grown and foraged by the restaurant themselves. Last night, the whole menu had been so carefully thought through, meaning the flow of light, rich, sour, creamy, raw, crisp, hot, cold etc flowed seamlessly throughout the evening.

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    I won't indulge myself by describing every single dish individually, nor will I really attempt to describe all the best dishes as there were simply too many. What I will say is that, of the 15 courses, I would score 12 of them as either 19 or 20 out of 20 on Andy Hayler's scale.

    Oh I can't help myself, a few highlights...

    Crispy fried pork and smoked eel - light, crispy, fatty, succulent
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    Sweetbreads with garlic - digging through the black garlic soil and emulsion to find beautiful soft but crispy glazed sweeetbreads
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    Warm seaweed custard with oyster and caviar - impossibly divine, both the oyster and caviar shining and elevated to a new height
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    Raw scallop with elderflowers and elderflower vinegar - this may seem an odd pairing but the elderflower just enhanced the beautiful natural sweetness of the scallop
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    L'Enclume farm vegetables, herbs and flowers with local cheese and chicken crisp - summer on a plate
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    Lamb loin, yellow pea puree, fermented runner beans, fig leaf jus gras. Rich yet light at the same time, and so lamby (the lambiest lamb ever)
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    Gooseberries and cicely cream - just divine
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    Miso caramel medal with apple jus - the miso made this into the tastiest salted caramel, the green apple cut it perfectly
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    Wine wise, there's no getting away from the fact that the mark ups here are punishing, with 4 x retail being common. But we went for a bottle of Marc Hebrart BdB Champagne to run through the menu (which was classy, elegant and pretty reasonable at £80), I had a glass of Albamar Mencia with the lamb courses and then we both had glasses of dessert wines (I had a Loire Chenin, Vicki a Monbazillac). Total bill including drinks and service was almost £500, but I have to say it was a privilege to experience what I can only describe as the pinnacle of gastronomy, and worth every penny.

    Surely the 3rd star cannot be too far away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  2. We were booked in there in April for a night on our way up to Ayrshire for a few days golf but it was obviously cancelled. Certainly whetted my appetite to reorganise the trip. The deal in one of their superior rooms with dinner in L’Enclume and breakfast in Rogan & Co was pretty good value. Thanks for the write up.
     
  3. We did the 2 night version of the same deal, Jim. The superior room is lovely - spacious with all fittings etc done to a high standard - breakfast at Rogan & Co very good too.
     
    Jim Agar likes this.
  4. One other point I should add is that the service and experience was near faultless, and not impaired by the covid precautions.

    Indeed, the only noticeable differences were staff all wearing face coverings and cutlery not being changed 15 times.
     
    Jim Agar likes this.
  5. How was the Mencia? I buy their Albariño which is fabulous.
     
  6. Lovely actually - mid weight, low tannin, warm fruit and xmas spice but still a crunchy berry freshness to it. A very good match to the 2 lamb dishes, as it was not too heavy for them.
     
    Jim Agar likes this.
  7. A couple more pics added
     
  8. Very nice - not been for a few years so might be something to go for!
     
    Richard Ward likes this.
  9. The bill actually strikes me as pretty reasonable for that menu.
     
  10. As I said in the original post, it was worth every penny and I agree fair & reasonable for the menu & experience.
     

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