Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Upstairs, downstairs

Well its 25 years since I graced the kitchen at Kew's Restaurant in Kew, working with some enthusiastic young uns who now run their own successful establishments and occasionally star on the small screen - celebrity chef's that is! These days Kew's is Estivo and I thought I should go visit. And of course after so many years the faces are not those of colleagues but another generation of talented hospitality devotees slaving over 'a hot stove' and passionately plying the craft.

Estivo could almost be two different restaurants, one walks off the street into a busy modern dining area, lots of glass, a few seats at the bar, contemporary decor and a modern vibe. Climbing the stairs one enters a very different space - more conservative perhaps a touch of the romantic. I'm normally watching EVERYTHING - the dishes other tables have ordered, the wait staff and even the kitchen operations if that’s on view, so I felt a little isolated.  But upstairs in the 'attic' I was able to focus on the conversation; only occasionally distracted by the arrival of each course - each worthy of the attention, delicious duck & beautiful beef. I'm sure my dining companion appreciated my attention for a change!
The menu reflects the trends with not just entree's, mains (& sides) and dessert but a selection of smaller 'starters' - offered as a selection also; which is how we started. Mains where the aforementioned duck and beef  - I’m a sucker for duck every time – and a stunning side of green beans with white anchovies; sometimes it’s the simplest dishes that are the standout! The flavours of all the dishes were adeptly balanced and the components skilfully prepared; the service professional - Estivo ticks the boxes particularily for a 'night out' rather than casul dining but I think I'd prefer to dine downstairs.
Estivo, 330 High Street, Kew.  
Estivo on Urbanspoon

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