Saturday 5 April 2008

House for an Art Lover.

I didn't actually know this but the design for House for an Art Lover came about as the result of a competition in 1901 held by a German company. The brief was to design a house that was ‘a grand house in a thoroughly modern style’. Charles Rennie Mackintosh entered the competition with his new wife Margaret Macdonald, and won. How romantic.

I suppose it's fitting then that I have been to two Weddings here. This occasion was not a wedding, but a celebration still. It was Him Indoors youngest sister's birthday, and we met up with the parentals etc to celebrate. It's the sort of place that people go with their babies, kids, parents and grannies. All in all a family place. The menu varies from potentially serious mains to salads and 'cafe lites'.

So this is what we had:

Chargrilled asparagus topped with wild mushroom and thyme ravioli with a white wine glaze.

Apple and celeriac soup

Red onion and Brie tart tatin with tomato and basil dressing

Glazed leek and pea tartlet with herb salad and poached egg


Chargrilled marinated loin of Tuna, Nicoise style with sesame soy and ginger dressing.

Seared rib-eye of Beef with baked flat cap mushrooms,tomato and apple chutney, with tattie scone and rosemary jus

Warm Jarlsberg tart,wilted Pak Choi with rosemary butter sauce and poached egg

And last but not least the Chargrilled beef steak, Gruyere cheese, Rosemary foccacia, spicy potato wedges with garlic mayo. Some what confusingly termed a 'cafe-lite'


Maple syrup and Pecan sponge pudding with banana ice-cream & rum caramel sauce

Banana tatin with rum caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream

As you can see the portions are pretty generous. Unfortunately, that generosity extends to the liberal use of oil, butter and cream. These dishes have the potential to be delicate, allowing the taste of the produce come through but the ingredients are hidden, at times, by the heavy saucing. Oh well, I suppose we are in the West of Scotland. In others over-zealous cooking spoils the day- the tuna was asked for pink it was more dry and the tattie scone, well it could be used to hit an intruder over the head with.
Whomever makes the puddings obviously takes great pride in their presentation. Quite often, very pretty looking creations come out of that kitchen. Again, maybe a little finesse is what is required. The vanilla ice-cream could have been creamier and less sweet in a dish that is served with a rum-caramel sauce that is determined to give you diabetes. But these are minor quibbles, and for the price, service and setting it's a pleasant place to while away a few hours.

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