16 November 2010

Accidental Date - Tod's Bistro

Due to my husband quitting his job last November and entering the dangerous world of freelance we haven't been on a date since I don't know when. In fact I do know - we went to the The Anglesea Arms for our anniversary and my parents paid for that so I'm not sure it counts. So on Saturday night we were off to a house party in Kings Cross via drinks in Highbury and somewhere around Holland Park I realised we hadn't eaten. Booze on an empty stomach usually means one of us behaves incredibly badly so we thought we'd get a sandwich from somewhere on the way to Public House where the first drinks were held. I drew the line at a Budgens sandwich however and no other places immediately offered themselves so we decided to go into Tods Grill and Bistro... just to see what the menu was like obviously. And then we accidentally had a date.

Now my husband says it's not a date if I pay but we drank booze, shared food and there was a candle present, we even had my parents babysitting the puppy. Sounds like a date to me. It wasn't the cheap evening I had planned (one of the reason I love retro house parties is because you can turn up with your own booze and then drink it all and not spend any more money than that) but the food was gorgeous, the service impeccable and the surprisingness of it all, rather lovely. The restaurant had a great atmosphere - there were old show and movie posters all over the walls which I loved and it was packed which I find can make your experience all the more private. I thought I just wanted something light and the starters looked so good we decided to share some... by some of course I mean 5. Baked goats cheese with apple salad, chorizo bruscetta, calamari, homemade chicken liver pate and homemade gravad lax with toast.

When I met my husband he was a restaurant reviewer who only drew the line at tripe and I was one of the fussiest eaters known to man. This made us pretty incompatible when it came to sharing food. He remained a restaurant reviewer long enough for me to become 2 stone heavier and develop the ability to eat a lot of food long after I'm full - we are perfect restaurant companions. Now there are only four things I'm really fussy about - aubergine, courgette, fruit and offal and the latter has meant that even though it is something that I should love (based on my love of pickles, smoked things and cheese) I can't stand pate.

I have to say I've clung to this as my final attempt to revert to fussy eating and the waist I had when I was 20 but on Saturday night I think my favourite dish was the home made chicken liver pate. It was smooth and tasty without being too livery and we had just the right amount that left you wanting more. I was so particularly surprised by this new love affair as we'd also ordered calamari which I would quite leave my husband for if it wasn't a bit weird to run off with a food stuff. But I think the pate won the evening.

Our accidental date meant we were late for drinks and even later for our house party (at which I'd promised early arrival for moral support) but were beaming on both arrivals and not responsible for the vomit on the 390 to Notting Hill at 3 o'clock that morning so I think I will be advocating more accidental dating in the future.

Tod's Grill & Bistro on Urbanspoon

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