Summer is finally winding down, the leaves crisping up and loosening from the trees and the days gradually growing darker. The weather is undecided, however - if not an Indian summer, it looks like it's set to stay warm until early next week. So I'll stay in estival mode and show you a delightfully summery dinner I had at Oldroyd (344 Upper Street) last month to celebrate passing the GDL! A short yet blissful moment of relief and happy pats on the back before moving on to the LPC this month. Personally, I'm feeling masochistically excited at the prospect of highlighter shopping.
Obviously results must be celebrated with something sparkly. Oldroyd offered the most delicious white peach bellinis, accompanied by a summery menu of top-notch 'European' small plates served in compact yet pleasingly designed surrounds, all Farrow and Ball walls and golden light fittings. It was a ridiculously hot night when we rocked up - hopefully that won't be the case now we're in September, but I'd recommend trying to snag the table next to the window upstairs if it's still warm when you go. I found myself almost hanging out of the window, desperate for a breeze. Yup, definitely an autumn/winter girl - give me snuggly jumpers any day.
We started with a seductively creamy prawn and cuttlefish risotto with sea rosemary and gremolata. Utterly divine. B couldn't get enough and was forced to resort to Instagramming it. Success! I cackled the cackle of a blogger who bullies all her dining companions into documenting her life on social media. The beginning of my empire.
Peach and goat's curd salad with green beans and panzanella. Light, refreshing and just the ticket on a hot summer's night. I tried a spin on this the following week with burrata in place of goat's curd and it worked really well - might make it more of a fixture in my summer dinners!
Spinach and ricotta malfatti with crispy fried sage leaves and earthy girolles. Thumbs up. Definitely sensed a lingering Italianate, Polpo vibe through this plate (Tom Oldroyd being the former chef director of the group) which is no bad thing at all. I'm a big Polpo fan and actually ate at Polpetto to celebrate my last set of results after finishing my degree, so Oldroyd was really a perfect choice for this dinner (though I didn't clock the significance until later!)
And finally, the most delicate and cooling of melon sorbets to finish. This came recommended by our delightfully effusive waiter, who provided exactly the sort of service I like in a small plates restaurant: attentive yet not intrusive, swift in bringing menus and bills, friendly and chatty. And I loved the sorbet, by the way - it was icy, subtly flavoured and just what my heart (and rocketing body temperature) desired!
This was a great pick for a low-key celebration - we left feeling pleasantly full but not stuffed, and determined to come back. The menus at Oldroyd change every day, and I for one am keen to see what their autumnal offerings will be like! Genuinely so excited for cooler weather and the fantastic food that comes with it. Give me all the ankle boots and scarves and log fires! (Yes, your basic alarm bells may be ringing like crazy right now, but don't worry. I draw the line at PSLs.)