Le Querce in Honor Oak for Beck's birthday, just over the road from Babur where we went for her first birthday we were together. I don't like to travel too far.
Last Saturday was also the night of the Blackheath firework display so I'd arranged a late booking to allow us to watch some fireworks from nearby Blythe Hill before dinner. The Blackheath display started ten minutes late, and I had a few moments thinking I'd dragged us up a hill on a cold night for no reward. But it turned out to be a good vantage point with beautifully clear sweeping views of the city. We were able to see both the Blackheath and Alexandra Palace displays pretty well and had the Crystal Palace display booming behind has as well.
The restaurant was full when we arrived and we were seated on a small table between two other couples. Luckily one of them was just finishing up which allowed us a bit more room once they'd left.
We almost didn't order starters, but I'm pleased we selected the salame, carasau e formaggio to share from the special menu. The hard cheese had a lightly smoked flavour, while the small serving of soft cheese had a heavenly texture. It was much smoother and creamier than a mozzarella or burrata. Beck's likened the texture to Dairly Lee triangles. I'd said the cheese we had yielded a little more, but it was a pretty accurate description, although gives completely the wrong impression of the quality!
My main of hake was also from the specials menu. The large serving of hake flaked apart and was served with a fresh tomato sauce and cauliflower. The drizzle of salsa verde gave we welcome lift and freshness and I would have liked more of it.
The star reason for going to Le Querce in my view is for their extensive selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets which are frankly, fantastic. We both went for three scoops. My tactic was to go for something classic - chocolate - a little different - pineapple and mint - and them something a bit more out there - Banana, Cardamom and Ginger. (Ok, so it wasn't completely out there, but I wasn't up for the onion and garlic.)
The star of my plate was the pineapple and mint while the standout on Beck's plate was the strawberry and cassis.
The service was a little slow towards the end of the night, but you can forgive them a lot when the ice creams are that good. It was good value too.
66 Brockley Rise