On Monday evening, we headed around the corner to dine at Florian Restaurant, a local establishment which we had heard was one not to miss.
We arrived bang on 7:30pm for our reservation and were quickly swept through the entrance and out into the foyer where we were met by seemingly delighted staff, who welcomed us as though we were entering their personal home as guests, rather than customers at a restaurant.
Clearly in partnership with Deutz Champagne, the decor in the garden was greenery, with each table protected by large, beige, canvas umbrella’s which were piped with yellow – their trademark colour scheme!
We didn’t need convincing! So the ladies of the table opted to peruse the menu over a glass of champagne, whilst the men enjoy a frosty beer. Fresh bread was brought to us and olive oil was artfully poured into a readily waiting ceramic dish (for dipping).
The hostess of the restaurant moved through the tables in a large shirt dress – not a belt cinching in sight – instead, her gown was left to billow like Michael Flatley’s infamous costumes of the mid 90’s which was coupled by her voice, which sounded so familiar. I realised quite some time afterwards – but she sounds exactly like Madame Olympe Maxime from the Harry Potter series. So a real character of a women from head to toe and so incredibly kind and attentive too!
To start, I had “Burrata Cheese with a mixed salad, croutons and sauce vierge”, which was truly stunning.
For those who don’t know, Burrata cheese is a mozzarella ball filled with curd and cream and is quite possibly what’s served upon entry into Heaven. Just look at it!
Himself had Florian’s signature dish of “Bisque made from fresh Canadian Lobster”, I tasted it and if I went back, I’d be ordering this – nothing against the beautiful Burrata which was sumptuous, but this one is their Signature dish for a reason!
Another of our party ordered the “Terrine of Duck liver with caramelised macadamia nuts, toasted brioche and homemade apple syrup”. To be honest, another divine dish – it’s been awhile since all starters ordered were in contention for “best of the table” – all were delicious and tasted very much like more!
The ambiance at Florians is wonderful, it feels both intimate yet busy and the music is spot on to soothe those who may have had a busy day, yet awaken those who may have been a little down before arriving. Soon, it was time for the main event – I went with the “Grilled Black Angus Fillet steak origin: Ballymahon Ireland served with Bérnaise sauce, homemade fries and green beans wrapped in bacon.” Nom!
Possibly the least beautiful LOOKING of the mains, but my goodness did it deliver on flavour!
Two of our party went for the lamb, “Grilled rack of lamb, mashed potatoes with beetroot and a honey thyme sauce”, the lamb was beautifully cooked but the real winner was the beetroot mashed potatoes – thick and creamy with a sweet edge that made the honey thyme sauce positively sing.
As for Himself, his I think was the most beautiful looking dish of the night, “Grilled giant Tiger Prawn, local risotto (Alcacer do Sal), stir-fried spinach and Beurre Blanc”. In a nutshell -> it was a taste buds party!
About half way through our meal I abandoned all pretence of listening to the conversation being enjoyed at our table (although I’m sure it was scintillating!) because we had a beautiful visitor…
According to the staff, this beauty is a He and truly believe’s he own’s the restaurant – as a local, he visits often! After dinner we were all persuaded to have desert (not much arm twisting was required to be fair!). We all went with something different and along with each dish was a specific drink to go with it.
Oh. My. Dayz – mine was hands down the best – I was informed twice how exactly Chef wanted me to eat it (dipping the spoon all the way to the bottom so that with each bite I got a taste of all three layers) and the Somelier also instructed that I was to take a sip of the accompanying drink in between each bite.
I kid you not – this was the best dessert I have ever had – like – ever! “Mousse of Coffee with a syrup of hazelnuts and creme” which was accompanied by a “glass of Taylors 10 year old Tawney”. MAJOR YUM!
After a truly beautiful dining experience, we weren’t quite ready to go home so we had drinks in our local. A posh “Moscow Mule” for Himself – which he was delighted with (see next photo as evidence!)
Whilst I opted for MY signature drink – a Cosmopolitan
A truly excellent evening was had by all – a better night out I could not have asked for!