Food and drink blog 5
Review: Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurant at Cadbury House, Congresbury
Summer menu - lovin' it
Our compliments to the chef as we had the perfect steak dinner at the Marco Pierre White restaurant at Cadbury House this week.
Well one of us did while the other went for the mouth-watering mozzarella pasta vegetarian bake.
It wasn’t the best of times for the world famous celebrity chef who was making one of his frequent visits to Congresbury to launch his new summer menu at the hotel restaurant.
His son Marco Pierre White junior was taking over where dad left off earning an ‘enfant terrible’ title in the tabloids after a raunchy appearance the Z-list television reality programme Celebrity Big Brother and worse was to follow with a drink driving incident.
Meanwhile MPW senior is becoming more sedate and even a ‘tell-all’ splash by ‘divorce pending’ wife number Mati Conejero, aged 51, and mother of three of his four children failed to ruffle his feathers.
I suppose all that designer stubble and Lord Bryon posturing – huge black and white portraits adore the dining room at the DoubleTree by Hilton venue – doesn’t evoke too much sympathy for the man dubbed ‘godfather of modern cooking’.
Even his appearance smacks of a world-weary man who in mid-life is disillusioned with a hedonistic lifestyle as described by the British poet in Childe Harold.
But after my meal on Monday evening all I could feel was love for the 51-year-old former bad boy who was the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars and trained such chefs as Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennett.
Now it is the Cadbury kitchen who benefit from his tutorage.
The new menu features classical British dishes made with seasonal ingredients.
Steak remains at the heart of the new menu with cuts including fillet, rib-eye and Chateaubriand and there is a range of exciting new main courses, starters and desserts to try, all reflecting Marco’s passion for simplicity.
For starters we were offered a French brown onion soup, beetroot goat’s cheese salad, smoked mackerel or crispy calamari.
Where Marco has upped his game is with the sauces – from Merlot dressing, horseradish mayonnaise and sauce tartare with the first course followed by meriot, béarnaise or honey spice roasting juices with the mains.
A subtle tang of mint vinaigrette accompanied the green salad and sweet oven-baked cherry tomatoes added coloured and softness.
Marco told me the 10oz medium rare steak I ordered was sourced locally from an organic farm.
My husband ordered the gnocchi alla sorrentina - small potato dumplings Sorrenta-style – in a rich tomato and basil pomodoro and pronounced it ‘delicious’.
When I heard MPW senior was promoting a steakhouse my thoughts turned to the Berni brothers’ food chain which began in Bristol back in the mid-1950s.
Think again – the new menu offers choice is more innovation than retro and I would recommend any lover of fine dining to give it a twirl – not only is the food good but the service and surroundings are equally great.
As an aside the original rock star chef arrived 90-minutes late for his book signing and promptly asked for a television to be wheeled into the garden room so he could watch the England versus Slovakia game which ended in a draw.
But he took extra time to meet and greet his adoring fans queuing for signed copies of the White Heat 25 anniversary edition in which he describes his style as ‘not artistic, but graphic. It’s honest, it’s natural and it’s simple’ and that’s just the recipes!
Rebecca Bozeat-Manzi, business development manager at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill, said: “We are all so proud of the new menu and can’t wait for people to try it.
“Not only do we have a range of gorgeous new starters, sharers, mains and desserts, we also have a fantastic cocktail and drinks menu which really finishes off the experience.
“Marco’s vision is very much about classic food done well and we really think that is what we’ve delivered.
“Our book signing events are always really popular and our guests always comment on how lovely Marco is and how much they enjoyed the evening.”
May I add my name to the last remark, thank you.