A table for two and a notebook

On arrival at Restaurant James Sommerin, we ordered a good Pinot Noir. We noted that the ambiance was calm, staff attentive and the other guests were very well attired.

Feeling relaxed, in our jeans and T shirts, we discussed the merits of the food; each dish looked elegant like a work of art.  Much to my husband’s dismay, I started to make notes about the food.  The guests on the neighbouring table were intrigued by the notebook.  Clearly, I wasn’t a restaurant critic as I was wearing jeans.   We sipped more of the wine that was so beautifully flavoured with summer fruits that it could have been a soft drink.

The delicious food improved with each course.  Buoyed by this tasting experience, I was determined to write an analysis of each dish. I scribbled furiously between each morsel and took photographs of the dishes.  More delicious wine was poured into a glass that could happily home several goldfish.

Alas, I cannot read the scribbles in my notebook.  Throughout the notebook, I had repeated the words ‘great textures’ and ‘explosion of flavour’ albeit in various styles of handwriting. ‘Desert’ was underlined enthusiastically. Did I go to the Sahara to eat pudding? Other words were incomplete and I hope that they didn’t run off onto the beautifully laundered table cloth.  I circled ‘black pudding’ purée several times because I didn’t have my highlighter pen. I do remember that I was offended by the puréed texture but I am a northerner.

Undeterred by the black pudding, I did note down Picasso’s poetry on a plate.  Obviously, Pinot Noir should come with a cliché warning on the label. Mysteriously, the notebook has splashes of wine and food inside of it but I will keep it as a tribute to the Picasso chef.

James Sommerin is a chef and an artist.  The restaurant was like a theatre of food and next time I will dress up for the occasion. The food was so good that I can forgive the corruption of the black pudding texture.  I will wish on a star for the restaurant!



Please see my blog at jessiecahalin.com

One thought on “A table for two and a notebook”

  1. Jessie, A good restaurant will never sniff at a customer in jeans! I remember coming off the boat at the end of a canal holiday in France one year. We were clean, but clad in jeans and creased tee-shirts. We decided to have dinner at L’Abbaye – with some trepidation. Would they throw us out for bringing down the tone of the place? Not a bit of it. We were shown, smoothly and courteously, to a table tucked away, it’s true, but not exactly in the kitchens. Not an eyebrow was raised. Now that is class! I laughed my socks off at your description of your attempt to write a review. I hope your husband has recovered his sang froid – he is lucky to have someone like you who can appreciate the finer things in life (I pass over the fact that you are Northern – nobody’s perfect).

    Patricia Feinberg Stoner

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