2.4.13

A NIGHT OF GAME AT PUTNEY'S DUKES HEAD

You might have read my recent post about supper club coordinators extrodinaire, Grub Club. Well they very kindly organised for me to go and try out one of their supper clubs, so I invited my brother and his fiance, her sister and boyfriend, and the boy along, to try it out. We had a raucous Wednesday night, full of game dishes and excellently chosen wines. My little brother is a wine salesman and came along to choose appropriate wines to match our meal. He's written a few words for my blog about the wine - see the end of this post.

The night took place at The Duke's Head in Putney in the private upstairs room. A lovely, tranquil (until we arrived) space, that suited the occasion perfectly.

This particular evening was all about game meats. We started the meal with an amuse bouche to share of duck rillettes, carpaccio of duck and smoked duck egg yolk with asparagus. This was my favorite course of the meal, with all 3 components presented beautifully.



I felt a little bit sorry for the other diners, as they were all couples, sitting on tables on 2, and we had a table of 6 so made quite a bit of noise!



The amuse bouche was followed by a starter of wood pigeon breast with cherry brandy reduction on a confit of pigeon leg, with pigeon scratchings. I hadn't had pigeon scratchings before but they were yummy - salty, crunchy little nuggets of fried piegon skin!



The main course was perfectly cooked corn-fed free range duck breast, with ballontine of duck leg infused with pistachio, salsify puree and sweet potato hotpot. This flavour combination was less to my taste, but the duck was melt in the mouth, and so succulent.


I'm not sure how we had any room left at all for pudding, but clean plates all round proved that the coffee burnt cream, hazlenut crumble, rhubard puree and amaratto ice cream were a hit.



The Duke's Head are going to be doing pop up supper nights once a month, focusing on a  different set of produce each time, and a one-off masterclass a month on another produce, which I think is a great idea. Next pop up is a shellfish night on Wednesday 24th April, and they're doing a lamb masterclass on the 10th April. For more info go to www.grubclub.com or www.dukesheadputney.com

2011 Bodegas La Val, Albarino

This white comes from Rias Baixas in Galicia, North West Spain. The influence of the Altlantic breeze plays a huge role in keeping this costal region cool. This climate ensures the wines are fresh and zippy, and this was no exception. Packed full of citrus punch, this Albarino had lots of green apple and lime flavours with a salty undertone that cut through the fatty rillettes and complemented the dish really well.

2010 Mission Estate Pinot Noir
Central Otago produces the finest Pinot Noir in New Zealand and is the southernmost wine growing region in the world. The aroma of this wine had notes of smoked bacon and lots of red fruits. Cooked strawberries and cherries dominated the pallet and worked really well with the gamey pigeon and the fruity sauce.

2008 'You, Me and The Gatepost' Shiraz
This wine is from Margaret River in Western Australia, which is cool by Aussie standards. To be honest, the label was the best thing about this wine. For me the oak was a little overpowering and the fruit has started to fade. It was still soft and worked ok with the duck but I felt we should have stuck with the Pinot for this dish too.
 

If you want more tips on wine, follow my brother on twitter - @NedLlewellyn


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