HERMANO SEGUNDO'S RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: THE STEAKS ARE HIGH
Well, it is that time of year when we start to reflect on the meals of the past year and ponder on how much we drank/ate and spent. There are often tears involved.
I cannot speak for Hermano Primero but, when it came time to think of my plaudits and brickbats, there really could only be one winner.
Certainly, there have been some great meals this year and some places that have really struck a chord. Take a bow Theo Randall and Vinoteca. However, all of these splendid places have to kneel at the feet of my current favourite place in London HAWKSMOOR.
Someone posted a comment the other day saying that I constantly eulogise about this place. But, look at the pictures and then tell me how you could not.
Last night, I had supper with my dear friend, Martina and, as she had not been inducted into the joy that is Hawksmoor, I decided it was the ideal venue.
The blessed Mr Strangeway managed to make space for us despite the Christmas mayhem and proudly came out with a plate weighed down with a 28 day aged T-Bone from The Ginger Pig which he had sourced for us.
One look at this 1kg of cadaverous perfection made me realise that my elfin companion would be scant use in its demolition. So, we made an emergency phone call and managed to track down her significant other who cancelled his other plans at the mention of steak and came and joined us.
Starters came and went and very good they were too. A decent Caesar and some excellent char grilled squid. But, that's not what it is all about.
It was all about meat and lots 'O it.
And what a piece of meat. Perfectly prepared, rare with an excellent char. I can not recall a better steak in recent memory. From the moans and squeals uttered by my companions, they were either doing something altogether unhygenic with their feet under the table or enjoying the steak just as much.
Side orders are a side issue here, but they were just fine. As indeed was a bottle of Duck Pond pinot from Oregon
Much better was a bottle of Stag's Leap which Nick just had to open and pour us each a glass.
A bit of ice cream action to follow and a couple of post dinner cocktails made by Lucas and Jorge ( The best mixers I have encountered in London this year by a country mile) and it was all over.
The only downside of enjoying a place as much as Hawksmoor as much as I do is, that at some point in the future it wont be there and, though I am sure that will be years in the future, I am still not quite sure how I will cope.
So there you have it, Hermano Segundo's restaurant of the year is
Hat's of to Nick Strangeway and the boys