Since I have started blogging I have been inundated with recommendations and suggestions from friends and acquaintances of where to go and what to write about.  As well as my own planned activities, you can imagine the difficulties one can experience when taking such suggestions into account, combining a fear of ‘missing out’ on good writing material and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.  So I have had to desist on many occasions to write about certain subjects, as I want to be able to enjoy the experience, sometimes without an analytic approach.  It can be limiting when going along to an event or gathering with my ‘writer’s cap’ on, paying particular attention to all the details rather than freeing myself up to all that is on offer in order to simply ‘participate’.

This entry is therefore a ‘special edition’ and it is mainly to rebuke an unnecessarily negative review recently submitted by a well known journalist in the Observer (pointed finger withheld).  The fairly spontaneous dinner was an infrequent union of friends and it was an arctic ‘Bonfire night-avoiding’ attendance.  I had strolled past Beard-to-Tail in it’s fetal stage, in wonder at what this other new Curtain Road addition had to offer.  It turns out to be owned by the cocktail legends Callooh Callay who are already well settled in the Shoreditch area and their connection is clear by the addition of a twisty-turny cocktail list that looks to offer a Bloody Mary with Jack Daniels ( although not so shabby!), whiskey ‘flights’ (enjoy the journey through 3 types of whiskey) as well as other weird and wonderful concoctions, no doubt to compliment a similarly diverse menu.  Which is meat. And lots of it.

Taking a glance at the menu with my other hungry companions, we deliberated over ribs, trotters and livers.  But resist scrunching your face up; this is not a menu to wince over, it just requires a fearless palate and it was rife at the table that evening.  It is needless to say that the Vegetarian of diet may lack in choice here, however, either eat before and enjoy a cocktail or opt for a wild card if you are a ‘fairweather’ consumer.

With seven hungry bellies to quench of rumble, we had a varied choice for our starters which included Bourbon BBQ ribs, Pigs Trotters, Sauteed Duck livers on toast, Copperhead Ale Mussels with bacon and a ‘Deconstructed’ Prawn Cocktail.  My mussels slipped swiftly down with minimal effort and a tasting of the prawn cocktail sauce was tangy and spicier than standard (to my delight). All other murmurs about the food were met with a positive reception which was almost ‘defiant’ as we discussed the severe write-up in the Sunday papers.  The restaurant had only opened 3 weeks ago, so what a pity to dash it to pieces so early on based on one person’s outing, in particular with the admirers that were glowing at the table.

So to confirm our (falsely-led) suspicions, our main-courses were brought out; Braised pig cheeks, further BBQ ribs and steaks lay place on our long wooden table (inciting imaginary comparisons to Viking feasts in my own over-active mind) and met with further murmurs of glee that it WAS a good meal.  Various sides were excessively ordered too including my delectable Eastside Meaty beans, some of the most bulbous chips I have ever seen and sauteed vegetables.  My ribs, at no fault of their own, did require a little more attention from teeth and fingers than I am used to giving to a dish, however such a feast could never be eaten elegantly.  I perhaps could have benefited from a bib due to the relics of BBQ sauce I had unfortunately tipped over and attempted to salvage (although I think a chalk mark around the carnage I had caused would have been more appropriate).

Lip-smacking good as they say! I was in jovial spirits with those around me, which was in high part to blame by the troublesome staff (they simply could not stop being courteous, attentive and even offering personal assistance with the whiskey and bourbon offerings to a certain keen sipper at the table. Not I may I insist).

Our bellies were full from a mixture of deliciously cooked animal parts and a fine Portuguese wine from the menu, so sadly ‘no room at the inn’ for the equally indulgent dessert menu (although my friend’s Father licked up the plate of Baked Brioche banana sandwich. My goodness, why did I forego?).

We all concurred whilst stroking our mystical beards that it was a wonderful evening; good food, friends and frolics (induced by the wide range of liquid choice) that had ‘survived’ the negative barrage read that weekend.  And “a revisit” was pronounced as we left!  After all, everyone deserves a 2nd chance!  So go and explore for yourselves; that is all I will proffer in my ‘humble opinion’.