I am convinced for each of us that one special partner exists. Some say opposites attract. I think the opposites that attract complement each others strengths and weaknesses to make a stronger union. I got lucky 19 years ago when she said “I do”. Kath keeps me anchored in reality, gives me the support to explore what interests me. In return she says I still make her laugh and support her in ways no one else ever has. Together we look forward to being a couple of old farts together, still enjoying each others company holding hands for a walk on the beach.
Once a year we ditch the kids. We drop the Mom and Dad hats, the routines and totally indulge each others hedonistic pleasures. On our anniversary we like to go out, live it up and be pampered. It gives us the chance to talk about where we want to be and simply enjoy each others company. Simply it is about celebrating us.
Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood did just that for us last night. In particular our server “Raven” went out of her way to take care of us. We felt as if we were the only ones in the dining room even though there was someone less than 3 feet away from us.
We chose this restaurant as we are fans of the Hell’s Kitchen show on TV. A variety of reasons went into the decision, mostly his food looked incredible and we never could get short notice reservations when we were last in London. When we got the reservation we were so excited but tried to dampen our expectations so as not to be disappointed if the hype didn’t match the reality. The reality was far better than we could have imagined. Again, Raven and the entire wait staff made it a better experience than we could have imagined.
I knew this potentially was going to be a special experience when I called to set up our reservation. Among the questions asked was “is this for a special occasion”…of course it was our anniversary. When we showed up Raven and all the staff knew it was a special day and made that part of the repertoire of our conversations. A nice special touch.
We had already looked at the menu on-line and had decided we’d do the Chef’s Menu at $85 each to get the broadest sampling possible of the restaurants offerings. Raven suggest that was the best way as a first time guest to really enjoy the evening. That endorsement cemented our decision.
She helped us chose a nice bottle of wine and the feasting was set to begin. First up was the amuse-bouche…a savory custard topped with smoked mushroom, fois gras and petite greens. (I love the petite greens, doesn’t it sound better than baby vegie anything?)
Next up as our first official course was the seared tuna on top of daichon…a first for Kath who isn’t a major fan of sushi or raw fish product. The mini crab beignets were just the perfect little touch on the side.
The courses that followed quickly became a blur. With each course Raven gave us a description of what made it special. As each arrived I’d just close my eyes and enjoy the aromas. For a main course she opted for the Arctic Char. I opted for the Lamb chop with confit of lamb shoulder. I’ve never had lamb prepared so well and so tasty. I have been given the task of finding a local source for fresh Arctic Char as she said it was better than Salmon which until now has been her favorite fish.
The first mini-dessert was a palate cleanser, “oranges 3 ways”. Layered neatly there little slices of orange at the bottom then orange sabayon topped with a very tart orange sorbet. Wow, we could have stopped there.
Served up just before our main dessert was a simple blackberry sorbet quenelle with a candle and chocolate piped on wishing us “Happy Anniversary”. We blew out the candle, wished each other much happiness growing old together than dug into the real dessert. Valrhona chocolate sponge, vanilla ice cream with a confit of Bing Cherries (notice everyone is making a confit of everything…I think that will mark the first decade of the new century cookery).
With tip it did come to 300 bones. Not cheap and we can’t decide which made it the better value, the food or the experience. We are glad we indulged each other here as it was worth every penny to satiate the hedonist within for just a few hours. Thank you Raven (and you too Gordon Ramsay) for giving us such a memorable way to celebrate our special day.
The details: Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood. 1020 N San Vincente, West Hollywood 90069, 310-358-7788
Pics by me with the trusty cell phone cam…there could have been more but I wasn’t about to divert my attention away from the experience.