Continuing the habit of posting reviews when they're no longer relevant (see: Summerlicious 2013, Table Talk, the list goes on), heres a look at The Grove – an innovative and elevated British pub that had its last supper last November. Located in Little Italy, the pub boasted a weekly menu that was as cryptic as they come. Each dish was described simply by a list of its most compelling ingredients, with no hint as to what form these ingredients will take.
The menu was divided into three courses, with your choice of each ringing in at $40 total. This review's menu was from October 28 - November 1 (we know, we know – we suck).
Parsley root, snails, bacon, & fried bread
First up was Parsley root, snails, bacon, & fried bread. Tempting to say the least. These ingredients arrived at our table in the form of a soup that makes one question who thought to combine parsley and snail and bacon and bread? and is there a Nobel Prize for cuisine? and did this guy/gal's get lost in the mail?
The smooth, sweet parsley root purée was broken up by crispy, salty bacon and even crispier, saltier snails, with the fried bread soaking up the perfect balance of juxtaposing flavours in the bowl. There was no surprise when we learned that this soup is their signature dish.
In fact, the soup was so good it caused a soup-induced coma and the rest of the meal was a blur, hence the vague descriptions from here on out (for the millionth time – sorry).
Charcoal beef, potato, soured cream, & pickled walnut was the next dish to grace our table. Cooked to a stellar medium rare, the beef was rich and flavourful, with the contrasting flavours of pickled walnut and sour cream heightening its taste. It's a welcome, lighter reinvention of the classic British Sunday roast.
Charcoal beef, potato, soured cream, & pickled walnut
The cherry on top of our meal was dessert – Spiced cake, huckleberry, & milk sorbet. Small, spiced cakes that were crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside, combined with the tartness of huckleberries and the sweetness of the sorbet made this an all-around satisfying end to the meal.
Spiced cake, huckleberry, & milk sorbet
The Grove may have been shrouded in mystery but if anything, it made your meal an adventure from start to finish. The stereotypically heavy nature of British food was elevated to create light, inspired cuisine that never felt stodgy. In fact, the thought that we may never have another bowl of their parsley soup is hard to stomach, but we're sure chef Ben Heaton has something just as delicious up his sleeve. We know we'll be first in line.