26 Jul 2007

Eating Ethics

I DINED on ethics yesteday evening at Alimentum, Cambridge, an upscale eatery underpinned by macro-conscientious decisions. These relate to the installation of energy efficient kitchen appliances and careful sourcing of ingredients with the emphasis placed upon animal welfare. Thus I was able to try my first 'Freedom Foie Gras' (from Spain), a Royal Jelly soft, pristinely potently flavoured parfait, sourced from geese no doubt given 24hour access to an 'all you can eat' buffet, or sent on inclusive cruises... Small site baked sourdough crisps and finely sliced fig segments accompanied. Such a speciality perfectly captures Alimentum's culinary new wave mélange where France meets Spain.
In terms of design, the onyx bar (by the same designers as St. Pancras Station Champagne Bar), black panels, blonde oak parquet and almost naughtily deep red details evoke a top Manhattan bar/A-List inclined nightspot. The effect is shattered, however, by the fact the floor to ceiling windows frame a derelict Peugeot dealership opposite.
Competent, imaginative cocktails served in ergonomic glasses and a concise wine list with a couple of thrills and tempting 'hangers-on', I.E. unknown dust gatherers (unless almost perversely passionately sold). The muskily spicy, full throttle, Austrian Zweigelt fits both categories.
Overall, in its first fortnight, here is a restaurant proferring pristine service, style, with substance (forgiving the twee copper pans brimming with garnish brought with main courses involving Lamb Sweetbreads) and a thougtful fill in a venue in which the diner feels included. My advice: install some blinds...
I came across this rather seriously performed film, 'Open A Bottle Of Wine Without Corkscrew'. A logical and potentially violent approach for imbibing hanymen.