Sunday, March 13

Pancakes And The River Café

Our Sunday morning so far: Sonnet up at 0620h to wrestle the kids from bed and swimming practice. Myself, I awake an hour or so later to make coffee and a run with Rusty, who resists for all his life (strangers in the park look at me kinda funny as I drag the unwilling pooch). Rusty supposed to enjoy these things I thought. Sonnet makes pancakes etc. and I read the Sunday Times which I have come to enjoy though a poor comparison to the NYT. Last night we join friends at the River Cafe, which has become our favorite; The RC our first "serious" restaurant in London back in '97.

"The River Café specializes in Italian cuisine and owned and run by chef Ruth Rogers and until early 2010, Rose Gray. Located on the north bank of the Thames in Hammersmith in the former Duckhams oil storage facility modified by architect Lord Rogers, the husband of Ruth Rogers (Lady Rogers). Opened in 1987 as the employee café of the architectural partnership, there is a garden with views of the River Thames.

River Café brought to London the flavours of Italian home cooking with an emphasis on the finest ingredients, and an all-Italian wine list. The restaurant also brought to London a modern, open-plan kitchen and dining room with a buzzy atmosphere. "Sourcing, sourcing, sourcing" is the mantra of Rogers and Gray. Menus are tweaked constantly (sometimes twice a day) to respond to the seasons and what is best in the market, with simplicity the key. Signature dishes include: wild mushroom risotto; Dover sole (which I have last night) and John Dory smoked in the restaurant's own wood stove; and rich Italian desserts including lemon almond cake or the chocolate "Nemesis" cake.
The restaurant earned a Michelin star in 1988 and is critically acclaimed, although sometimes criticised for high pricing.