All great meals are invocations of other meals, real and imagined. Past meals; the promise of meals; table gossip, snaps, Instagrams and advertisements. The tangible realisation of tables decked with pristine white linen and wine glasses, the unctions of fried garlic and cooked flesh. "Feast" is the most wantonly overused word in all restaurant promotions, and the heaviest ingredient we carry is the weight of expectation.
No restaurant destination comes swaddled in so much wish fulfilment and awe assumption than Pierre at Quinn's. Restaurants are individually unique. They are also all the same. There is a presumption on behalf of the purveyors that these are special occasions, perhaps once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime experiences. This means that the animals you are about to eat are almost guaranteed to have lived a life and are still about to give yet further pleasure at the hands of a master. People celebrating significant birthdays and honeymoon couples, for whom the allegory of Quinn's seems to be a spur to future romance.
The London Hibs meet-ups are essentially dining experiences with the football often secondary. They follow a prescribed pattern: an early pre-match aperitif, a couple of glasses of wine, 90 minutes of cursing/cheering (delete as appropriate) and then a leisurely meal followed by the cheese trolley and some coffee. That's been the backstory of Quinn's for us for well over 12 years and it's a formula that works.
Next Saturday will see us dining immediately after the match. Two courses being served - starter is a Scotch Egg made with a Pig's Trotter (I’m informed that this is very good) - main is a simple Rib-Eye served with Polenta and Borage. Truffle season is coming to a close, but shavings are currently available.
This week’s house wine is Fonte Cupa Montepulciano 2009 priced at £22.50 per bottle from Italian wine specialists, Bat & Bottle - www.batwine.co.uk
See you there!