Friday, 26 January 2007

Restaurant Review: Spread Eagle ( 5/5)

(Left) The Spread Eagle Art Collection
Samuel Read (circa 1815-1883)
The entrance to the Painted Hall, Greenwich, watercolor
(Above) The Spread Eagle Art Collection
Attributed to Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)
The View from One Tree Hill in Greenwich Park, oil painting

The Spread Eagle in Greenwich has reopened after a complete refurbishment. For those of you who have been there before the only change is possibly the smell of fresh paint and the crispness of unused furniture upholstery. Other than that, the restaurant has reserved its exquisite taste in all things fine. It starts with the well chosen staff's first greeting at the door, and runs through the night as you are treated to one exemplary culinary experience after another.

For lovers of fine art, the restaurant is worth a visit for its fine collection of art. Authentic masterpieces spanning two or three centuries. Art you can take home (well, not literally), but as you leave you are presented with a set of full-color postcards of its paintings. A gesture in itself classy. The place also boasts a wonderful bar with an inviting seating area home to a very inviting fireplace. The Spread Eagle has also expanded its premises to include private dining rooms.

The menu bursts with a variety of all things fine. French cuisine of escargots, venison, langoustine, lobster and quail as well as an array of well selected desserts. Mr. ChiChi had the escargot with spinach as a starter. Exquisite. We made the French proud by dipping the restaurant's fresh baked bread in the sauce. I chose the fish monk in batter with squid in tomato sauce. The portions were just right and the presentation of the plate is not only modern but classy and not over the top. For the main course Mr. ChiChi and I both enjoyed the beef cooked medium rare with leeks and for dessert we settled to share the chocolate cake and chocolate pot. ooh la la. A meal to be remembered.
If I were to sum up the experience it would be that the decor, service and food are refined, well-chosen, and rich. It may be pricier than other restaurants in the area, but you have to admit that you get back your money's worth. This is fine dining at its best.

Place: The Spread Eagle, 1-2 Stockwell Street, SE10
Tel: 020 8853 2333
The Spread Eagle Art Collection
Henry Smythe (19th Century British School)
Sail and Steam vessels before Greenwich Hospital, oil painting
The Spread Eagle Art Collection
John O'Connor (1830-1889)
Trafalgar Tavern, oil painting

No comments: