The Perfect Friday Lunch

The perfect Friday lunch is an elusive thing.  Clearly it cannot take place at one’s desk; but it’s better unadulterated by guilt, so getting a decent number of hours work under one’s belt before departing salves the conscience.  I do like a late lunch, I confess.  Thereafter, it comes down to venue selection.  On which subject there has been a long standing debate between my colleague Gen and I as to whether London’s best steaks are to be found at Hawksmoor – or Goodmans.  Unsurprisingly I believe I hold the high ground on this subject – her boyfriend has (previously) exhibited vegetarian tendencies – and to this day is uninclined toward the glories of the cow (except living peacefully in a field perhaps) – which surely must taint her credentials as judge and jury on matters of the flesh ?

But I digress – (as long as her beloved is not in attendance), I believe Gen and I could find agreement in the belief that the key ingredient of a perfect Friday lunch is steak.  There are other components naturally: highly agreeable company is clearly a box that needs ticking – as is the skinny fry – why-oh-why do both Hawksmoor and Goodmans assume a fish and chip shop chip is more desirable than a beautifully slim stick of melting-crunchy perfection ?   Yes: in this matter both Goodmans and Hawksmoor fall woefully short – and no, I don’t care about your triple cooking – or your truffled aromatics.  To misquote la Moss, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny”.  Bang on Kate.  Only your chosen subject should have been the potato.

So – it was to one of these temples of beefy excellence to which I was fortunate to adjourn for a late lunch on Friday.   And (after a somewhat long-winded preamble), the final feature of the perfect Friday lunch, obviously – is the perfect botte of red wine to go with the perfect steak.  On Friday I had such a bottle, preceded by an excellent bottle of white – which provided the final flourish of perfection.   Furthermore, gilding the lily, the perfect red was a wine that neither I nor my lunch companion had ever drunk before so the lunch had both steak and the frisson of lost virginity.   It was my perfect Friday lunch.  But for the chips.

Arthur (and later Anita) thanks for the highly agreeable company !

2010 Chablis 1er Cru Forets, Raveneau (93+/100)

Pale lemon coloured.  Intensely aromatic scent – pristine Raveneau aromatics, rachetted up several notches, doubtless courtesy of the excellence of the 2010 vintage.  Direct, punchy floral mineral aromatics with tinges of saffron, spice and wood smoke – and just that hint of wax.  Intitially equally overt and vibrant from the glass, this tightened noticeably as we drank it, becoming more steely and saline.  Very long and racy, with lovely weight and pristine fruit.  This may just get better still, as lovely as it is right now.

2007 Domaine de la Grange des Peres (95/100 / Perfection with a Rib-eye).

A recommendation from Clay at Hedonism – I only wish I’d listened to him sooner as this wasn’t the first time he’d suggested it.  Full dark ruby.  Wild, intense perfume – with cassis and black cherry jam overlaid by lavender, incense, charcoal and garrigue.  Full bodied, opulent and unctuous but with a rare freshness that it makes more vibrant than you could possibly expect from a wine of this weight and dimension.  Dense, with rocky minerality, pure cherry and cassis fruit, finishing smokey and meaty.  Liquorice, mint and violet on the finish.  Chave Hermitage meets Sassicaia ?

Ian Elton-Wall