Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tasty Travel

Inspired by friends who over Thanksgiving weekend planned menus from restaurants in Paris, I decided to travel to London for a nice dinner. Since we can't physically travel, I selected a restaurant in London called The Ivy and used their menu for the inspiration for the dinner.  I invited my sister and brother-in-law to join me for this Taste of London travel dinner.  

Except for the Parmesan Zucchini, I hadn't ever made any of these recipes so it was quite an experiment, but it all turned out quite well. Timing the courses of meal is the hardest thing to do. I did most of the preparation throughout the day so I wasn't all doing it in the last couple hours.  I made the filling for the bacon and leek tarts on Saturday as the recipe I used says it could be made up to three days before. I made the English toffee cakes the day before the dinner, then all that had to be made on the day of the dinner was the toffee sauce. 

Since the Ivy is quite a formal restaurant, I decided that we should dress for dinner. The dress code was "outrageous" as you can see we were quite outrageous but still classy.

The boys even dressed up too. They were our "wait staff"; but all they did was wait. They didn't even get any leftovers.

"Wait" staff

So onto the dinner, the appetizer was a Bacon Leek tart made with goat cheese. These were really good, definitely worth making again. 

Bacon Leek Tart

We had a little bit of a pause before the main course as the cod fillets were still a little frozen so they took longer to cook.  The main course was Crab crusted cod fillets plated on a white bean, lemon and clam stew. The Ivy menu uses cockles but those are hard to find here. It was served with Citrus steamed Broccoli and the Parmesan Courgettes. (Brit speak for Zucchini.)  Everything turned out quite well.  The white bean stew actually surprised me, it was quite flavourful. 

Crab-crusted Cod

Lastly there was dessert, English Sticky Toffee Pudding with French Vanilla ice cream. We only needed a short pause here as all that needed to be done was to bring the sauce to a boil for a couple minutes and warm up the cakes.  

English Toffee Pudding

I had three white wines ready and chilled for our dinner. My sister selected the Pinot Grigio, I hadn't noticed the name when I purchased it but it was rather appropriate.

Corona wine?

We had a good time with this Outrageous Taste of London dinner.  I have made a promise to myself that I will go back to London someday so that I can eat at The Ivy wearing the same dinner jacket I had on for this pandemic dinner.