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Square Meal Review of L'Ortolan ?

The Grade II-listed vicarage building may not look much from the outside, but the chocolate tones of the interior give out a soothing warmth. Notable private rooms catch the eye, too, while Michelin-starred chef Alan Murchison’s cooking brings a high level of sophistication with menus based on his own modern interpretations of classic French fare. With seasonal ingredients very much to the fore, flavours are wonderfully honed & never miss a beat. Hand-dived roast scallops partners gorgeously well with cauliflower puree, smoked bacon & curry oil. A dish of braised shank of Pyrenean milk-fed lamb is equally splendid, accompanied by roasted rump, confit of neck, kidneys & caramelised sweetbreads with a basil pomme puree & tapenade. Among desserts could be pistachio souffle teamed with a confit of apricots & vanilla ice cream. The wine list is in keeping with the overall style & features some extremely well-chosen bottles. The set lunch (£21 for three courses) is a bargain for this level of quality & cooking.

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