Words

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lunch At The Vine

Today Laura and I went up to the town (or as we say around here 'up town' as in 'I am going up town'), ostensibly to go to Tesco and get a few essentials, but when we got to the High Street we decided to perhaps go for a quick drinkiepoo. We settled on The Vine Inn, which used to be a bit on the rough side when I was in my teens and early twenties. These days, though, it's been completely gutted and remodelled on the inside and is quite posh. Leather armchairs abound.

The Vine in Summer.
We were only going for a drink, but we were both a bit peckish and it was around 1 pm or so, and the beautifully written chalkboard menu sitting on a mini-easel at the bar had such delicious-sounding selections on it that we decided to eat.
We ordered our drinks and chatted awhile to the young Scots fella behind the bar. He was the chap that was dressed in his kilt on New Year's Eve. I asked him if he was being put in charge of the Vine's Burns Night Supper this coming Tuesday. He said yes he was, and that he would be in his full regalia, not just the kilt, but the whole outfit. I kinda wish I had made a reservation for that, it's £27.50 per person but it is a 5-course meal that includes Haggis, Finnan Haddie, and Cranachan, a traditional Scots dessert that involves fresh whipped cream into which is stirred some honey, whisky, toasted oatmeal and sometimes crushed raspberries. Wow.

Anyhoo, we ordered from the bar and went and sat at a nice table over by the window. We were enjoying our drinks (Laura had a Di Saronno with lemonade and mine was a pint of Amber Ale) and after a few minutes the food arrived. Laura had ordered a 'Lightly Spicy Chicken Burger' (that's what it said on the menu, but when I looked at the receipt it said Cajun Burger). It looked like this:


It was quite mildly spiced, but they were definitely Cajun spices. Quite moist and juicy with beautiful seasoning. Justin Wilson would have been proud.
I had ordered a Mushroom and Stilton Burger, which looked like this:


Beautiful, juicy, medium rare, big mushroom on top with a lovely bit of melted Stilton. The ciabatta buns on both were just perfect and I have to agree with Laura's contention that The Vine wins out over Cafe Rouge. We've eaten at The Vine before (I experienced their Ribeye Steak Ciabatta before, and their Duck and Pistachio Terrine) and I would say that their presentation is top-notch and clearly whoever's in the kitchen knows more than just their onions. If you are ever in Tenterden and need a good place to nosh, consider The Vine. Oh... and don't forget to invite me along. It'll be worth it, I guar-on-tee.

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