Cheshire Life - - Good Taste -


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Re­view by: Emma Mayoh

For peo­ple liv­ing in a cer­tain cor­ner of Cheshire, La Popote is an in­sti­tu­tion. Since March 2009, Dutch born Vic­tor Janssen and Scot­tish wife Lynne have been turn­ing out their de­li­cious plates of the finest French cui­sine. They came to Cheshire af­ter run­ning a se­ries of hugely suc­cess­ful restau­rants in South Africa and quickly gar­nered a rep­u­ta­tion for su­perb food. That rep­u­ta­tion is one that was ce­mented by the Good Food Guide re­cently when La Popote, trans­lated as small cook­ing pot, was named in the culi­nary guide along with a hand­ful of other din­ing stars in the county. But times change, as they in­evitably must and the cou­ple have handed over the reins to Parisian Gaelle Radigon and part­ner Joseph Rawl­ins. The night we vis­ited both pairs were work­ing to­gether, Vic­tor and

Lynne work­ing as a guid­ing hand. and this new tal­ented cou­ple show­ing a promis­ing flair for host­ing guests and turn­ing out su­perb dishes.

This is glo­ri­ous, old school din­ing at its best serv­ing up the style of cook­ing that all bud­ding chefs would once have been given a good ground­ing in. A menu dot­ted with dishes of lob­ster ther­mi­dor and ca­nard a l’orange as well as desserts of crepes suzette and tarte tartin show a menu heav­ily in­flu­enced by French clas­sics.

The mus­sels - a high point - were large, meaty and as plump as over­stuffed pil­lows and scal­lops - a La Popote spe­cial - came topped with glossy beads of caviar and cooked in the light­est Cham­pagne beurre sauce. Both were so good we swapped our plates half way through.

Mains were another La Popote clas­sic - a rack of per­fectly pink Cheshire lamb roasted with a crust of deep green rose­mary and gar­lic with hari­cots blancs cooked in a lamb jus. The other main - a tourne­dos fa­con la popote - was done with a flour­ish. The 30-day ma­tured fil­let of Here­ford prime beef, pi­quant sauce with mush­rooms, Hun­gar­ian paprika, red pep­pers and gar­lic was flamed at our ta­ble in vodka.

Dessert was a shared rasp­berry mille­feuille giv­ing the fi­nal nod to French cui­sine with this del­i­cate pas­try dish. a new menu is on its way with Gaelle and Joseph at the helm this ru­ral part of Cheshire will re­main lucky to have La Popote.

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