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Archive for September 16th, 2006

Morgan M restaurant (489 Liverpool Road, N7 8NS 020 7609 3560) is a place we’ve run by for months, and we figured it was date night, so why not try the local fancy place? We’re glad we did.

I loved that the chef visited every table and chatted with customers. It’s that kind of small, warm restaurant.

The room is a lot of anonymous blond wood, but overall, it’s inviting enough. What brings people to Morgan M is the food, which we thought was delicious, overall.

The first amuse bouche was this horseradish/beet puree in a deep purple color, poured into a bowl with a dollop of chocolate sauce and whipped cream. When you ate it together, it was sweet, creamy and tangy all in one. Surprisingly (because I don’t like beets very much) good.

My ballotine of foie gras appetizer was OK – a little bit too gelatinous to get me excited. I think the only time I have truly loved foie gras was when it was seared at the Fat Duck. There, it had the texture and creaminess of a really meaty tofu. Not that the Fat Duck was otherwise worth the money, in my opinion.

Jon’s escargot ravioli were huge and lumpy. He loved them. I, however, could never bring myself to eat them. I kept thinking about all those slimy little creatures, clumped together and barely hidden by the pasta skin. There’s a voice in my head that screams: The slime! The slime!

My main course of duck was just slightly overcooked – pink in the middle but from the texture and feel of the duck, I thought it’d been sitting under a heat lamp a little too long. Still, the duck was savoury and juicy, and Jon was happy with his sea bass. Both of our main courses were served with puy lentils, which didn’t strike me as anything you really had to brag about, but the restaurant did. I mean, even if they’re special lentils, they’re still just lentils, so could they really be that rare and/or expensive?

The dessert/cheese course was a highlight. Jon and I had a table with a great view of the cheese course, and I have a feeling we spent the whole night “getting through” the other courses to get to the cheese. Jon ordered the cheese course and I went with a valrhona chocolate cake with a molten center, which was hot, spongy and creamy in the middle, and of course very chocolatey. But the dessert is served everywhere now such that the best you can do is say “that was well done,” which it was. I mean, there are lots of these that come out awful – sometimes like a brownie from a plastic wrapper.

The cheese cart was a lot of fun. Jon went to town and we tried eight or nine different cheeses. Our server was generous and recommended two aged goat cheeses that we should have written down the name of, but we didn’t. Eaten with walnuts, fig spread and multi-grain bread (so good this bread – crisp crust, nutty, dense crumb!) good cheese can’t go wrong. Even Jon had to admit the French are clearly the masters of cheese.

The three-course prix fixe was £34 per person, and Jon’s cheese course was a £7.50 supplement. So even with tip and a bottle of decent red, our total was just over £110. A good price for the style and quality of food.
Morgan M on Urbanspoon

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