So it has been a while… well this “dinner date” at City Social Restaurant has been on the cards since September 2014; unfortunately our other social commitments kept moving the date.
Despite the early dining, 18:15 we arrived early for a drink at the bar before being shown to our table on the other side of the 24th floor of Tower 42 – my cocktail, Piscopalean – Barsol Quebranta Pisco, Maraschino, ‘um bongo’ cordial, lime juice, egg white, bitters logo, did not disappoint. One of my dinner companions ordered a classic vodka martini and my mind wandered to how it compared to the one I tried at the Pollen Street Social.
As we were shown to our table, we noted the care in which we were informed on the uneven flooring, yes the dining room was dimly lit, but not so that we wouldn’t notice this. However this pleasant and thoughtful mannerism/gesture I do appreciate, especially to how it was relayed to us, not quite over the top but just right to keep you comfortably relaxed and at ease. What we also found was that we could have a private conversation at our table without being disturbed by the ambient noise of other diners, and additionally we did feel as if we were dining privately on our own, enjoying the view that surrounded us.
For some reason or another though City Social is a British Restaurant, we ended up ordering “Italian style” that is, we had anti-pasti, pasta then our main… and as we all commented how the dessert menu was so prominently displayed on the menu, we knew there was no question of not including a dessert course for us. The only other variation was if we were to have a cheese course as well, so one of my companions started to search for the cheese trolley, “just in case” there was something there that she could not resist to try. I had originally not thought of three courses plus dessert, but with such a weak stand, I was easily persuaded to opt for another course, the only question for me was, what to choose to not to over do it!
So we finally settled on:
First course –
- Guinea fowl and truffle terrine, parfait, crispy skin, grilled sourdough
- Violet artichoke and black truffle, chervil root, sweet cicely, cashew, celeriac juice
- Yellow fin tuna tataki, cucumber salad, radish, avocado and ponzu dressing
Second course –
- Risotto of ceps, crispy veal sweetbread, and Madeira glaze
- Chestnut tagliatelle, butternut squash, smoked chestnuts,
sage infused veloute
- Warm fruits of the sea, linguini and shellfish cooking juices
Main course –
- Highland venison loin and shoulder, braised red cabbage, smoked chestnuts
- Potato gnocchi, Jerusalem artichokes, chantarelles, roasted oats
- Black Truffle risotto – specialty of the day
- Peanut and banana, chocolate ‘old fashioned’, nutmeg coral,
banana ice cream
- Lemon and vanilla tart, yogurt meringue, bergamot,
fennel infused yogurt sorbet
- Pistachio souffle, chocolate sorbet
Food and wine ordered we settled down to our gossip session!
Discretion of the waiting staff was very good, when my friends and I get together, we generally forget the time, location and totally immerse ourselves with catching up with each others news. From keeping our wine and water glasses filled, to when I dropped my napkin, all was discretely dealt with without fuss nor attention. What I also liked was when ordering it felt as if we could choose anything that we wanted, the only suggestions that were made were to match the dishes to courses and of course in my case as I mentioned before, to encourage the extra dish to match up with my other dining companions.
When the dishes arrived, the waiting staff were unwavering when the cameras came out (these terrible foreigners). Do excuse the lighting and focus of some of the shots, but we were trying to manage without flash which wasn’t particularly easy with the dimly lit dining room.
We were very happy with our choices, so much so that we actually forgot to taste each others dishes!
Taste, texture and combinations of the two. Inevitably these would show how the cuisine would stand up… and it did in combination or as individual flavors and textures, all our dishes had our undivided attention, and as I said, we forgot to share them between us, till of course when the dessert arrived.
I still think the best evening spent is when everything falls together in place and you have such an enjoyable evening you forget about time, place etc. We finished our meal in the City Social Bar as we just had too much to catch up on and had to extend our dining time (you are given two hours dining time with your reservation). The very kind waiting staff transported our then ordered pots of tea, each of us having a very large silver teapot to ourselves to the bar area for us to finish off our evening.
The best view out of City Social? I still think it is the view from the ladies rest rooms, particularly from the cubical next to the window!
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HQ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7877 7703
Monday – Saturday
Lunch: 12.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Dinner: 6.00 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.
Monday – Saturday
12.00 p.m. – until late.
and our happy diners