Food 2008 – Artisan

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Saturday, 4th October – Artisan, Hessle

We’ve also had a couple of really good weekends. October 4th/5th we headed north to see my Mum and sort a few things out for her. She wanted a new hifi system, having remarked more than once that the one that she’d had since 1971 (!) or thereabouts was getting a bit unreliable and that she also wanted to replace her TV on the grounds that the newish Sony is so damn heavy and it’s analogue not digital. The heaviness is not in dispute. It took Lynne and I combined to shift the damn thing so Mum could see it from both the chairs she likes to it in, but once shifted she did suggest that it was much better. It’s also got a very clear picture even if it does seem to do whatever it likes in terms of default settings… As for the signal they won’t be switching the analogue signal off in her neck of the woods for another 4 years so a replacement isn’t exactly urgent. A trip to town in the afternoon to Fanthorpes, who have been selling sound equipment since the 1940s, saw us return home with one of these and a splitter box to run the front and back room speakers through, and then I set about connecting it all up and tuning it in. I’d expected it to be difficult – it was nothing of the kind. About 45 minutes later everything was connected (and it would have been a lot quicker if I hadn’t had to strip the plugs off all the speaker cables before I could connect them) and we’d removed all the obsolete equipment, taken the plugs off where possible, and stacked it all for disposal the following day. We’d also discovered that the old turntable wouldn’t work with the new system without some sort of pre-amp and had resolved to sort that out on Sunday.

The evening was spent at Artisan, arriving at 7pm. When faced with the latest menu we had a moment of weakness (or possibly indecisiveness) and opted for the taste of everything menu. That meant starter sized portions of everything. So we started with an appetiser of celeriac soup:

The first of two starters was pan fried sea scallops, with truffled cauliflower puree, and pea shoots:

The second was a meltingly tender roast rump of rose veal, with a chicken and foie gras veloute. I swear the veal was so tender you could cut it with a spoon:

And then we moved on to the mains. Fish first in the shape of a fillet of line caught wild seabass, and a parsley risotto (which sparked a discussion of the best risotto I’ve ever eaten which was that one at the Derby Grill in Monza in July). This one got damn close:

And then the meat course. A sticky slice of slow roasted Wilberfoss pork, with wild mushrooms, apple puree, pork sausage and a red wine sauce:

Finally it was time for dessert, with white chocolate panacotta and raspberries for two and three spoons.

To my amusement Lindsey hauled Richard out of the kitchen so he and I could talk about the places we’d eaten at recently, and we eventually staggered out somewhere around midnight. We drank Canadian wine with all the courses, which was surprisingly good (Lindsey knows I can’t resist the unusual in wines), especially the Gewurtztraminer.

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