Winter is coming. Que a whole season of that phrase being used, but also a whole season of us eating and hiding it all under copious layers. It’s going to be awesome, which is why I bring you a new foodie spot in Marylebone; Picture restaurant, because who doesn’t love food?
Picture, Marylebone is the brainchild of three friends. Former Arbutus head Chef Alan Christie, former Wild Honey head chef Colin Kelly, and at the front of house is Tom Slegg, who was front of house at both those restaurants.
Picture, Marylebone is quite different. Minimalist, utilitarian- some might even say plain. The walls are blank grey, the tables are minimal and there exposed ceiling fittings, give it an art gallery feeling. Why an art gallery? Well in a gallery, they want the pictures to be the focus, and here, I’m guessing the same goes for the food. For the food really is something of an art.
There are two menus; a la carte or the 6 course tasting menu. Me and Caroline went for the a la carte, but instead of 3 courses, it’s actually split into 4… oh and some little nibbles too. Would I even get through all of these courses?
For nibbles whilst we caught up, it had to be the venison bites. Meaty, rich and fried, they made for great little snacks for things to come.
For the first of the 4 courses, Caroline had the Ravioli of baked tomato, cavolo nero and pecorino. Whilst I went for the caramelized onions, blue cheese and vegetable veloute. Now I wish I could have seen my face when it came, as on the plate was just the onions and the cheese. And as you can see, it's pretty darn tiny. Then the waiter came back and poured on the veloute, which is the soup/sauce you see. I won't lie, I had no idea what a veloute was and so naturally thought the vegetables would come... well like vegetables.
After my initial shock, it was actually really good. The flavors were fantastic. I just wish there had been a little more of it.
My the fish course, I opted for the cod fillet, sprouting broccoli, celeriac and trompette mushrooms. You can not fault it's presentation. See now what I mean by looks like art?
Again, there was alot of different flavours all working together. The textures were really nice too, with crunchy and soft fish.
\Caroline went for the grilled stone bass, Jerusalem artichoke, white beans with pearl onions, which I'm told was very good.
Actually for Picture, Marylebone simple design, it does make for an excellent place to catch up. Fuss free means you can for once hear the person you are sat with! I'm getting old now, these things matter...
The main course was a meat affair for both of us.
Roast young chicken, squash, trompettes, cavolo nero for Caroline and good old beef for me. When beef is on the menu somewhere good, I always try and get it, as I never cook it at home. It just isn't as good, and to be honest seeing as this week I grilled a pizza for 12 minutes rather than cook it, I clearly am not gifted in the kitchen.
My beef was a 28 day aged beef with bone marrow crumb and red wine sauce. Tender, juicy, it was very good indeed.
Finally we made it to the final course. Caroline leapt at the carrot cake, walnut ice cream, espresso syrup, as it is pretty rare to find carrot cake on a up market restaurant menu. Personally I'm not actually a fan. Much more of a chocolate kind of girl, which is why I chose the dark chocolate mousse, banana and peanut crumble.
Now don't get me wrong, it was good. But only having been to Petit Pois a few weeks ago, I'm afraid I have to say, Petit Pois chocolate mousse does win this one. Sorry Picture!
But of course, anywhere that does a mean espresso martini will always fall in favour with me.
Picture, Marylebone is the perfect place for a fuss free meal where the food is the star rather than fancy surroundings. Now the portions are very small, which is good and bad. After 4 courses, I didn't feel full, but was perfectly content. So if you are looking for a place to feel like you've squeezed every last penny out of the price tag, then maybe this isn't for you. But other than that, I think it's just the thing this winter. That and a marathon of Game of Thrones.
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