Two weeks ago, in Italy, my love of tomatoes reached a new high. Tomatoes in Tuscany are fantastic. We think English tomatoes are good in the summer – or at least I do – but these tomatoes are off the chart, juicy and sweet and perfect and a box of 30 of them them cost €2.90. Whereas a line of 10 of them (if you’re lucky) on the vine costs £3 in Sainsbury’s.
In an effort to persuade myself I was still on holiday I went for dinner last week at Villier’s; the new restaurant owned by the chaps that own Gordon’s Wine Bar – that stalwart that is the afterwork drinking hole of the PWCite. Nothing like Gordon’s, Villiers is a clean, well designed restaurant come coffee place that shows all the chains on Villiers Street how it’s done. The Gordon family know what they’re doing. I’ve walked passed and perused the breakfast menu without stopping but it looks good.
It’s only been open a few weeks so I was delighted to bag myself a table in the already busy restaurant. It was busy, but it’s one of those places that is designed is such a way that even if it wasn’t busy you wouldn’t notice. We settled in and ordered a snack, a starter and two main courses.
The snack and starter arrived – two crab croquettas – these were lovely, bloody hot, but good – if I hadn’t have stopped off to say hi to a friend at the brand spanking new Barrafina en route and tried a bite of their crab croquettas I’d say Villiers ones were great, but Barrafina wins hands down on that front – sorry.
The burrata and heritage tomato salad was very good. I love tomatoes (as we’ve gathered) and the burrata wasn’t too cheesy – I had some the other day that was so pongy that it wasn’t actually that pleasant to eat.
Then the lamb arrived. It was delicious! Wonderfully tender with just the right amount of char on with mash and samphire and double podded broad beans. There was a salsa verde on top with some pomegranate seeds which I’m not sure where mentioned on the menu (I may well be wrong there) but the whole dish was really really good, and a big portion too for £18.50.
We didn’t manage pudding, but drained the remains of the rather nice bottle of red we went for. The bill came to £75, which I thought was pretty good, although we didn’t order that many dishes, the portion sizes are good and the quality of ingredients were excellent. Can’t wait to go back and try their breakfasts!