Date nights have somewhat fallen by the wayside recently, with both Andy and I being busy at work and me trying to be healthier before a very exciting beach holiday in Thailand in January. But when I heard that a new Picture Restaurant had opened in Marylebone, I jumped at the chance of a quiet night away from work and a date night with Andy.
The first Picture restaurant opened in June 2013 in Fitzrovia and soon became a neighbourhood favourite. Owned and run by a trio of chefs, Tom, Alan and Colin, who have trained and worked at Michelin starred restaurants, Picture brings together not only the neighbourhood, but the best of British ingredients.
As you enter the restaurant, you’re struck with a very simple, tastefully decorated restaurant with no outer frills. I immediately was struck that it was the food itself that is the focus here.
To toast our, frankly quite spontaneous and overdue, date night, we ordered two glasses of champagne whilst we looked at the menu.
With an option of either a six course autumn menu or an a la carte, there was certainly enough choice. And choice calls for one thing… Nibbles!
We started with some steak bites, which were deliciously crisp on the outside and full of tender beef on the inside…
Some gigantic Gordal olives which were as delicious as they were large…
And finally, some warm bread and soft butter. Okay, so there’s only so good a girl can be when warm bread is placed in front of her! After some nibbles, and some champagne we settled on the six course menu with matched wines on each course.
The first course was an autumn vegetable velouté, which with the cumin made for a perfect, light dish to start our meal. Sometimes I’m a little skeptical of velouté, but this dish really stood out, and was full of spices and flavours which we both loved.
The second dish was one of my favourites of the evening; a glazed young beetroot with goat’s curd and roasted hazelnuts. I loved the soft, creamy goats curd and the crunch of the hazelnuts.
Never mind how beautiful it was…
Picture by name… Picture by plate!
Paired with a delicious, crisp white wine, it was an ideal chance to catch up, tell Andy all about my trip to Thailand and start planning our big adventure for next year (and a few smaller ones, too!)
If it’s not in a hotel, traveling somewhere exciting, I’m happiest in a good restaurant with great family or friends. Picture is a great place to do just that: with no frills around the restaurant itself, it’s all about great food that speaks for itself, as well as friendly, happy service.
I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the lightly smoked pork with roast carrots and a baked apple purée, as pork generally isn’t my favourite meat.
But the slightly crisp outer and tender meat was wonderful. Add the slight crunch of this dish, a little radish and an apple purée which I wanted even more of, it was an incredible dish. Everything came together to create a picture-esque dish (sorry, I had to!)
As we discussed Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and France, our friendly waitress presented our fourth course of the evening, a stone bass, braised endive, celeriac and orzo pasta. I love white fish, and was very excited to try stone bass. It flaked perfectly into thick chunks and was balanced by a beautiful compliment of ingredients. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be the most exotic food, but just simple, flavoursome British ingredients shared with someone close to you that makes the best dish.
Our last main course of the evening was venison haunch served with parsnip, bulgar wheat and quince. I’m a huge fan of venison, even though I rarely have it, and so was very excited to see it on this very autumnal menu.
Served encrusted in herbs, and with perfectly tender meat it was a picture-perfect dish. Add the parsnip, which is probably my favourite autumnal vegetable and I couldn’t have been more pleased with this dish.
And don’t overlook the stunning plate on which it was served… Picture by name, picture-perfect by nature it seems!
Andy and I have a bit of a weakness for a cheese board. It’s more than a little weakness, it’s a deep rooted love of cheese. Aka we can never turn down a cheese board. And I am oh-so-glad we didn’t that evening. Continuing the neighbourhood feel, Picture sources its cheeses from Marylebone favourite La Fromagerie.
A selection of three cheeses, a Beauvale, a Waterloo and Lincolnshire Poacher, were put together to create a very British cheeseboard. And a hell of a delicious one too. I mean, never skip the cheese course, but certainly don’t skip the cheese course at Picture!
I usually find it a little challenging to find a set menu that doesn’t leave me feeling utterly stuffed, but still satisfies Andy, but I was pleased to see that it is in fact possible! For our final course, we were served a dark chocolate mousse with peanut crumble, and for Andy, a little banana.
I found Picture to be incredible with food allergies – I have a very odd allergy to bananas and it wasn’t an issue at all that I asked for it to be removed from my dish. Served with a deep red dessert wine, it was the perfect end to a delicious meal.
A Marylebone neighbourhood favourite to be, if you ask me!
19 New Cavendish Street
London, W1G 9TZ
0207 935 0058
We were guests of Picture Marylebone.