The Artichoke By Roz Kempner
It is certainly worth an hour’s trip out of London to The Artichoke in Old Amersham. An unassuming restaurant in the centre of town with a bright, modern interior and an open plan kitchen, calmly producing serious food. The clientele is local and staff are friendly and relaxed. There are Set Menus, Tasting Menus and a la Carte.
We opted for the three course lunch menu, which was plenty. The smell of the warm onion bread was too hard to resist and very worth it!
The first course of tender, smokey wood pigeon was accompanied by crunchy slices of Jerusalem artichoke, a soft truffle mousse, artichoke crisps and hazelnut crumbs. Fabulous textures and presented like an artist’s palette on a wooden board.
Admiring our neighbours’ Jacob’s Ladder, which apparently was “melt in the mouth,” we were thrilled with our choice of the pollack. A beautiful golden curried fillet, crisp on the outside, soft flakes of fish, and a great balance of lemony sauce and soft cauliflower purée. Great choice!
The soft, jellied chocolate with crispy, chocolate crumbs and orange sorbet had again lovely textures and was beautifully plated. The very helpful sommelier matched wines to the dishes perfectly.
The chef talked to every table afterwards, which also added to what was, we thought, worthy of a Michelin Star lunch. A real treat.
Our three courses were £25, and the bill for 2 with a glass of champagne and a bottle of Glen Carlou Chardonnay was £164.