Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Culinary Dispatch - London: I've spent the last few days in the United Kingdom tending to business and had two opportunities to sample the cuisine at Terminus Bar & Brasserie. Located on Liverpool Street and right by the Liverpool Street Railroad Station, Terminus is styled like an oldtime railway diner straight out of Agatha Christie. In fact, it is attached to a rather fine hotel and somewhere I do remember reading that hotels were built close to railroad stations to create destinations for visitors to the city. Of course, there had to be food as well, and the promotional copy for Terminus takes full advantage of the intrigue and romance of such cinema classics as "Strangers On a Train" and "The Lady Vanishes" and suggests that it may be the perfect spot for two star-crossed lovers to meet for a bite to eat.

I sampled the menu, minus the drama, and quite enjoyed the cod, an update on the classic British dish. Terminus serves its cod on a plump bed of fresh spinach, with crisp pancetta, the Italian bacon of the skin side of the fish. There's a hint of smoky, savory flavor from the pancetta in the glossy fish, and it is garnished with spring vegetables and a rich reduction of red wine, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. On the side, I had a serving of pencil thin green beans with a touch of Parmesan that tasted like they'd been brought straight from the greenmarket.

And, because it is directly adjacent to British Rail, Terminus is great for people watching. Was that, in fact, Miss Marple at the far table?

Check out Terminus at www.terminus-restaurant.co.uk

© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

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