the acorn house restaurant took the runners up spot for best ethical restaurant in 2010 (observer food monthly awards 2010). it has been on my list of places to eat at for a while and my tastecard gave me a wonderful 50% of for the first visit. i decided that s and i would lunch there today and it was a decision well taken.
s and i had been deliberating on the menu since over the weekend having looked at it online however we were still no clearer after being seated and served very refreshing sparkling water. i proposed that we use the strategy of elimination with the criteria for elimination being based on things that we can eat at most other restaurants. that really left us with three entrée choices (neither of us eats pork so that ruled out two other entrees). i was torn between the risotto of port, baked trevise, goat’s cheese and walnuts and the sage gnocchi, venison ragu and parmesan. s found it easier to choose the ravioli or squash, baked ricotta and amaretti. eventually i settled on the risotto.
|risotto of port, baked trevise, goats cheese and walnut|
|ravioli of squash, amaretti, baked ricotta|
the entrees here are very generous. my risotto was a celebration of colour, texture and flavour - pale port coloured rice dressed with some sprightly greens and finished with shavings of parmesan, crumbled goats cheese and broken walnut halves. s’ ravioli was autumnal tones – pale discs of pasta in a warm coloured sauce, caramel crushed amaretti accented by creamy white ricotta and hints of dark green herb.
s and i tried each other’s food ( and in the end i needed some extra help in finishing my risotto which was quite rich and filling). i have not tried trevise before and really enjoyed the slight sharp bitterness of it contrasting with the creamy risotto and goat cheese. s’ ravioli was incredibly flavourful with the amaretti adding a welcome crunch. if there is one word to describe the food at acorn house it would be multidimensional. it is clear that the chef pays compliment to food by not only pairing and contrasting tastes but also contrasts in colour and texture.
|lemon tart, chantilly|
despite being quite full s and i decided to spilt some guilt. after being unable to decide on which dessert we wanted (although we were quite clear that we didn’t want ice cream) we had to call in the help of our server who recommended the lemon tart, chantilly cream. i don’t usually order lemon tarts for dessert but decided to go with the recommendation. we weren’t disappointed. the pastry case was buttery and crumbly like short cake. in its shallow base was a very lemony and slightly runny curd. the chantilly held its own on the side of the pastry case with a zig-zag of strawberry sauce adding colour and contrast to the whole.
we would definitely recommend acorn house restaurant. and what’s more is that you can give yourself a pat on the back for supporting local and ethical food!