Quinn's (Piano Bar) for The Rangers - Monday 28th - 15:00 KO
All food journalists get asked the same question: "What's the best restaurant in town?" The answer is the one where they know you without having to surreptitiously check the screen; they bring you a drink without having to be told; it's where the manager/owner asks after your children by name; it's where there's one thing on the menu that you really like, the way you really like it, and you wouldn't mind eating it once a week for the rest of your life.
Contrarily, I'm rarely asked what was the best thing I've ever eaten. Maybe it's just too personal subjective a thing, determined by the circumstance of consumption. Maybe yours would be your wedding cake, or the fried breakfast after having been released from prison. But for me, the best? That would be by Pierre at Quinn's in his newly opened brasserie, 20 years ago. It was his moment. He was a chef on fire. Steaming, smoking, grilling, baking, flambéing, constructing astonishing intense but rigorously elegant plates that were based on haute French techniques, but with an obsessive, Gaelic emotion, with an angry French nostalgia that was all his own. Giles Coren of The Sunday Times, who has a mouth as sensitive as a sturgeon's cloaca, said the steak at Pierre's was the best he'd ever eaten. And where he extols with beluga prose, we should heed.
With The Rangers match scheduled to KO at the traditional 3pm (have we ever watched a league match at Quinn's that's been a 3pm KO?) Pierre and his team will serve our solids after the match at approximately 17:30. I'm pleased to inform you that we will be provided with two courses from the Christmas menu (please note that there is no seafood being served until Tuesday 5th January).
For starter is Whipped Cod Roe with Fennel Butter served with Salt Cod Croquettes with Aioli. Our main course is Ox Cheek simply served with Champ and Spinach.
This weeks house wine is Yealands Estate PGR Pinot Gewurtztraminer Riesling 2014 - An energising blend of lemon grass and lime blossom. Priced at £18.50 per bottle and supplied from the fine folks at Great Western Wine.