Friday, June 22, 2018

Clos Maggiore: London's Most Romantic Restaurant

Once described by a famous patron as “like eating inside of a fairy tale” Clos Maggiore is the most romantic restaurant in London and perhaps the world. An oasis of calm in the heart of Convent Garden, it's crowning glory is its gorgeous conservatory with canopy of fairy lights and white cherry blossoms complete with the warmth of a roaring log fire on chilly nights, evoking a dreamlike atmosphere in soft candlelight. Influenced by the stylish country inns of Provence and Tuscany, head chef Marcellin Marc is committed to sourcing local seasonal products throughout the year such as lamb from the Welsh mountains, seafood from the coast and vegetables from Kent, to create perfectly balanced menus which have consistently been recognised and awarded with AA-rosette awards. Arriving for dinner, we were seated at a lovely romantic table for two in the inner sanctum — the magical blossom-filled conservatory. Deceptively small, Clos Maggiore has only about 15 tables with a team of dedicated staff that are charming, professional and second-to-none. Champagne and parmesan scones appear compliments of the chef, a waiter offers a choice of homemade breads and focaccia, and the sommelier will pair each dish with wine from the restaurant's globally renowned wine cellar which boasts over 2,500 selections appealing to all occasions, a daunting wine bible ranging from a modest bottle of ‘Vin De Pays’ to the greatest names in the wine world. A stellar evening from start to finish, our dinner at Clos Maggiore was delightful and delicious, like a culinary fairy tale with a soul satisfying happy ending.

Once described by a famous patron as “like eating inside of a fairy tale” Clos Maggiore 
is the most romantic restaurant in London

Chef Marcellin Marc's menu of modern French-influenced cuisine 

Two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé Champagne

A copper pan of gorgeous freshly baked cheese scones

Butter with sprinkle of Maldon Salt

Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio by the glass

Chargrilled Sicilian Aubergine Stuffed with Courgette, Pepper, Fresh Basil, 
Sweet and Sour Datterino Tomatoes with White Onion Pissaladière

Smoked Burrata from Puglia and Green Asparagus,
Fennel and Broad Bean Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette and Smoked Almonds

Oven Roasted Free Range Chicken Leg Stuffed with Duck Livers and Morels with 
French Pea and Morel Casserole

Roasted Black Iberian Pork Loin with Roasted Potato Gnocchi 
and Pancetta, Braised Red Chicory with Pork and Onion Sauce

Pork and Onion sauce poured over the Roasted Black Iberian Pork Loin

Truffled Mash Potatoes

Wilted Spinach

Roasted William Pear with pistachio iced cream and gingerbread

Hand Picked Devon Crab, Brown Shrimp and Cauliflower Rémoulade

Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Chef Marcellin Marc

For the crab:
7 oz white crab meat
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
1 tbsp chopped flat parsley
2 tbsp diced green apple

For the cauliflower rémoulade:

3 1/2 oz blanched cauliflower florets
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped flat parsley

For the shrimps:
2 oz peeled brown shrimps
Extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the crab ingredients together and check the seasoning, then do the same for the cauliflower rémoulade ingredients. To serve, place the crab in the centre of each plate, and on each side add the quenelles of cauliflower remoulade, then on the top and around the the salad, add the brown shrimps. Finally, drizzle the dish with extra virgin olive oil.

Braised Shoulder of Loire Valley Rabbit with Sweet and Sour Black Radish & Wholegrain Mustard Mousseline

Serves 8
Recipe courtesy of Chef Marcellin Marc


8 rabbit shoulders
2 tbsp rosemary and thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 1/2 oz caul fat
1ltr duck fat
2 sprigs each of of thyme and rosemary
3 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves

Sweet & sour black radish:

1 black radish
3 1/2 oz honey
7 oz water
7 oz sherry vinegar

Wholegrain mustard mousseline:

3 large egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
1tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper 
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1/2 cup whipped cream

To make the rabbit, remove the 2 bones from each shoulder with a small boning knife. Keep the last small bone as this will help to hold the final shape. Lay the meat down on the chopping board and season with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Roll each shoulder so that it looks like a ball, with the little bone inside sticking out. Then wrap it in the caul fat, which will maintain the shape during cooking. Place the 8 shoulders in a deep ovenproof pan with the duck fat, rosemary, thyme, garlic and bay leaves. Cook for 4 hours at 200°F. Drain the shoulders carefully and brown them under a grill in the oven.

To make the black radish, peel the raw radish and slice it paper thin with a chopping knife. Mix together the water, honey and vinegar. Add the sliced radish and boil gently for 2 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool down in the liquid until completely cold.

To make the mousse line, begin by making a classic mayonnaise by mixing all the ingredients together and then gently folding the whipped cream in the mixture.

To serve, place the slices of black radish carefully in a circle on each plate. Place the shoulder in the middle of each plate, then shape three quenelles of the mousseline around the rabbit or place it on a side as you wish — enjoy!

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