It’s been a good week for cheese. Not individual cheeses for once but two brilliant cheese dishes I’ve eaten in restaurants. (Apologies for the dreadful quality of the pictures - both places were very dark)
The first was an oyster rarebit at Wright’s Oyster and Porter House in Borough Market. Such a simple and brilliant idea. The rarebit which had a good mustardy kick was cut into three fingers, each topped with an raw oyster - presumably well drained of its juice. Both elements - oyster and rarebit were perfect with the accompanying cool, velvety glass of Guinness. Bliss.
The second was last night at Bell’s Diner in Bristol, one of my favourite locals and was frankly the best macaroni cheese I’ve ever eaten. Outrageously rich and creamy, it came in a small cocotte, sprinkled with shavings of Perigord truffle and surrounded by wild mushrooms (chanterelles at a guess) over a scattering of cress. The sommelier Lionel partnered it with a glass of 2004 Chateau de Chorey Chorey-les-Beaune which was perfect.
The great thing about both dishes was that neither was expensive - even with the truffles and mushrooms the macaroni cheese was only £15.50, cheaper than any of the other mains. And both would be do-able at home. (If I manage to prise the recipe out of Chris Wicks, the chef I'll let you know . . .)