Restaurant Martin Wishart is a fairly small place with a very elegant feel but a fairly casually dressed crowd. The room has nicely spaced tables appointed with lovely linens and only a moderate noise level, probably due to the many sound absorptive surfaces. The interior comes off stylish with various pieces of art, an assortment of light fixtures and striking carpet. They offer 6 or 8 course tastings with a vegetarian option for each as well as 4 course a la carte menu. Wine pairings are available but we opted to order our own bottles of wine. Food is old school heavy rich cuisine that is incredibly satisfying and floor service is excellent. Our waiter was most helpful and tried to get a photo of the head chef that evening with Frankie but the chef left before fulfilling his promise.
An amuse of stuffed beet root macaroon was nice and sweet.
Bread is either small baguettes or an olive bread. The plain baguette was nicely chewy with a good crust and served perfectly warm.
The next amuse was a pumpkin velouté with cepes and very crispy bread and marinated tuna topped with wasabi cream and chives. The tuna was very good with an Asian hint. The pumpkin velouté was thick and the crispy bread almost melted in your mouth. It’s flavor was not as intense as the tuna but it was perfectly fine. However it seemed an odd choice as the tasting menu started with another creamy velouté.
The Cepe velouté was mixed with warm chicken liver parfait and roasted cobnuts. It was super rich and thick, velvety but the nuts added a nice crunchy component. Cobnuts are like hazelnuts and the flavor worked well with the liver and mushroom. It was way better than the pumpkin, this one was killer good.
Partridge ravioli was served with buttered cabbage, trompette mushrooms and topped with truffle cream. Another bowl-licking-good offering. The tender bird mixed nicely with the cabbage and a rich amazing sauce that was a total butter fix combined for a fabulous feast. Okay, I do like heavy, rich food but this was amazing flavor and texture. A slight touch of liver in the sauce made a delicious course.
Halibut was topped with langoustine, fried baby leek, verjus, and a soy and ginger sauce. The langoustine was cooked perfectly as was the moist halibut. The fried leeks were scrumptious and the buttery sauce just enhanced everything. Some small chunks of beet accented the plate and added a touch of sweetness. An excellent dish.
Monkfish was served with mussels, cockles, sea vegetables and topped with crispy rye bread on a bed of seaweed foam. The monkfish had a great texture that worked really well with the crispy bread. The mussels and cockles were wonderfully fresh. A nice course.
Roasted veal sweetbreads were served with chanterelles, artichokes and a curry and sauternes sauce. The curry was a very subtle flavor and worked well with the perfectly cooked sweetbreads. They were a bit salty but that was balanced by the artichoke puree, which was rich and velvety. The mushrooms were tasty and mixed well with the other ingredients. Another course of wonderful buttery richness.
Tender squab breast was served nicely rare with turnips, caramelized onions, onion sauce and turnip puree. The turnips were so fresh they had not a hint of bitterness. A bit of braised bird was served in a crisp pastry tube. It all blended into bite after bite of loveliness.
Buttermilk mousse was served with fennel sorbet, sorrel parfait, Granny Smith apples and a buttery cookie underneath the apple round. The fennel sorbet was packed into long crispy tubes. A nice set of contrasting textures with a number of sweet flavors made for a very satisfying first dessert course.
Blueberry was served with chocolate, Skyr mousse and Douglas fir oil. The sorbet was creamy, smooth and sweet and the various other flavors were good but the first dessert was better.
Final treats were black currant jelly which was tart and sweet, raspberry macaroon which was mostly sweet, pastry cream puff that was stuffed with goodness and tasty and a salted caramel that was just perfect, gooey caramel in dark rich chocolate – a great note to end on.