So on a sunny Saturday we traveled to Cumbria to the beautiful gray stone village of Cartmel for lunch with Michelin starred restaurant Rogan and Co.
A few days before the famous races, the quaint village had a definite buzz in the air. We parked at Cartmel Racecourse itself, where sprinklers left sparkling rainbows above the course as a game of cricket was played nearby. It was quite the English idyll.
We strolled, taking in the sights, to Rogan & Co located in an unassuming 14th century building beside the River Eae which flows through the center of Cartmel.
For the uninitiated, Simon Rogan is somewhat of a legend as he also owns L’Enclume, which has three Michelin stars, five AA rosettes and a reputation for excellence. He is also known for training renowned chefs, including Mark Birchall, at Lancashire’s two-Michelin-starred Moor Hall.
The Rogan and Co concept is a more relaxed affair, although held to the same high standards. The menu here is creative yet cozy, reinvented regularly by Simon and Executive Chef Tom Barnes.
Produce from both restaurants is grown on the neighboring Our Farm – Simon’s farm in the Cartmel Valley – and they use strictly only the finest ingredients.
Mowgli Street Food: We’re trying it as the reservation officially opens before the new restaurant…
The restaurant itself is simply and comfortably furnished, letting the atmospheric stone building tell its own story while giving the glory to the food.
As part of the experience at Rogan & Co, all guests are invited to choose three courses from a selection of seasonal dishes, all served with snacks to start, a pre-dessert and petit fours to finish the meal. All this at a set menu price of £79 which makes the experience more accessible.
Menu highlights include Old Winchester Cheese Balls, Onion Dashi, Lemon Thyme; Grilled hake with leeks cooked in miso, fermented celeriac & hazelnut; Buttermilk custard, Yorkshire rhubarb, hazelnut and farmyard sorrel – hungry again?
First, the “snacks”; a trio of Cod Egg Tartlet, Parmesan Shortbread with artichoke cream and an aged Beef Quenelle. Quite a bite and all cleverly designed to warm up the taste buds.
Personally I can’t resist a dumpling and the Old Winchester Cheese Balls were just delicious to start with served with French Onion Dashi Onion Soup – I really need the recipe for that one was divine. Gray opted for Herdwick lamb belly croquettes with mashed peas, mint and cucumber which were superb in presentation and melted on his tongue.
Then a palate cleanser, which prepared us for the main event, which for me was perfectly cooked parmesan crusted cod, with an asparagus, bean and prawn sauce, while Gray opted for the Dexter beef cheek, cooked for 24 hours and served with garlic, broccoli and onions – it was divine.
Already full, but full of flavor, we opted for the dark chocolate fondant with tangerine and sea salt (him) and I chose the buttermilk pastry cream, strawberries from our farm and sorrel. All delicious and all beautiful.
The whole experience was a feast for the senses, visually and in depth of flavor, a real treat. Never mind Michelin, 10 stars from me and thanks for the flowers.