Nick’s Monthly Round-Up
The last few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind. Given a choice I would never have opened a new pub and started the extension to The Oak within less than a week of one another!
I am pleased to report that The Belgian Arms is going well and after a slow start the extension building works at The Oak is up and running.
The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2013 was leaked a week early, which caused a bit of a stir in the industry. The official copy is now out and I am more than delighted to confirm that The Royal Oak has retained it’s Michelin star for another year. All praise has to go to Dom, Mo, Richard and the team. Well done guys, great effort; thank you for all your hard work, dedication and commitment.
Outfront by General Manager, Richard Martinez and Restaurant Manager, Mo Gherras
We’ve been talking about Christmas for the last couple of months and now there is no getting away from it. Every shop, TV channel and radio station reminds us of how many months, weeks, days we have to go! It’s no wonder time always seems to go so fast.
So as we’ve said it before we’ll try to keep it brief…….We’re serving a christmas-2012-set-menu in the new room at £45 per head. The menu offers a choice of three starters, mains and desserts plus coffee and mince pies. Tables are available from the 1st December for parties of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 40. Private dining is also available for up to a maximum of 20 people.
Throughout the festive season we will be serving our à la carte menu in the main restaurant for tables of up to a maximum of 8.
We are open as usual for Christmas Day lunch, serving a 5 course menu, plus coffee/tea and mince pies for £140 per head. Please click christmas-day-lunch-2012 to take a look at the menu.
We are planning a civilised affair for New Years Eve, no party poppers, whistles or disco. We’re offering our usual style of à la carte menu and taking bookings for tables of up to a maximum of 16.
The Mas de Daumas Gassac wine dinner on the 24th October is now fully booked. If you didn’t manage to reserve a table you’ll be pleased to know that we’re scheduling another wine dinner for early 2013.
Mo’s Cheese Board
I am very passionate about our cheese board and I’d like to tell you about one of my favourite cheeses which is on the board at the moment – Milleens.
For years we at the Oak have been saying that French cheeses are the best – well according to me that is! My opinion changed when we found this Irish cheese from County Cork Ireland.
Milleens is now one of my favourite cheeses on our board. It is produced by Norman, Vercona & Quinian Steel – very proud farmers.
It’s made of cows milk and animal rennett and has a much layered flavour, with flower, mushrooms and herbs that flow through your mouth and it has a rich creamy texture. The floral notes really linger.
Milleens was voted ‘Supreme Champion’ at the British Cheese Awards.
Mo Gherras and Richard Martinez – October 2012
What’s Up in the Kitchen by Head Chef, Dominic Chapman
Pumpkin Season has Arrived
Autumn has officially arrived and with it all the delicious pumpkins, squashes, root vegetables and chards. The delicate vegetables of summer have been replaced with brash full of flavour produce that pack a punch in stews, braises or with game.
Autumn is a brilliant time of year for a chef. We are spoilt by all the beautiful produce – lots of colourful squashes, game is now at its best and soft fruits are still good. So are many varieties of apples, pears and plums from our age old British trees.
Fish is in plentiful supply; favourites such as Sprats, Sardines, Anchovies and Mackerel.
Writing a menu in autumn is always inspiring. I love the heart warming stews with turnips, parsnips and potatoes, rich Jerusalem artichoke soup, fried sprats, roast partridge with crab apple jelly, wild duck with blackberries or plum crumble. There are so many autumnal kitchen highlights, it’s difficult to choose a favourite.
Winter is on the way, the fresh mornings have arrived, and the leaves will soon start to fall. However, in food we can always find warmth and in the Royal Oak kitchen that warmth is in the changing seasons and the beautiful produce it brings with it.
Dominic Chapman – October 2012
All About Wine by Sommelier, Simon Beneteau
This month I would like to talk to you about a newcomer to our selection of wine by the glass, a Malbec from Argentina from the unexpected Patagonia region…
Malbec has been extremely trendy for the right reasons in the UK for the last 5 yrs. It is a perfect match to a good ribeye steak… Who does not like red meat and red wine…
Its origin is unclear, either coming from North Burgundy or Hungary…, but we do know that it has been used for centuries in Bordeaux to blend with the worlds most prestigious of wines. Now it’s mainly used in France in Cahors (next to Bordeaux) and also in the Loire Valley, under the name of Cot.
In the 19th century a French engineer called Michel Pouget introduced the grape variety to Argentina where it is used in the world famous Mendoza wine region.
The reason why I chose this Patagonian Malbec is that when tasting it I found a lightness and freshness unusual to the Argentinian Malbec. Pentagonia has a cooler climate than Mendoza which lends itself well to aromatic wines with excellent naturally balancing acidity. With only up to 20% of the wine aged in American and French oak barrels this wine shows some exciting notes of red berries, eucalyptus, spice and black pepper.
Humberto Canale was a pioneering engineer who played a significant role in developing agriculture in Patagonia. He founded and built the winery in 1909 in the heart of the Rio Negro province. Four generations later, Guillermo Barzi Canale has successfully managed the Humberto Canale winery through its 100th vintage.
Simon Beneteau – October 2012
Back to Nick…………..
Once again we come to the end of our newsletter. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak for your continued support, which we really appreciate. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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