Friday, 29 June 2012

Histoire Ancienne, Calais

So, you're not supposed to judge books by their covers, but sometimes, just sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable to judge restaurants by their exteriors. Especially when you turn out to be right. 

Historie Ancienne was easily the best-looking joint in town, especially when the rest of the town was in a fairly battered state due to roadworks when we were there. The restaurant was just as handsome inside, filled with plenty of leather and brass 1930s-style booths, and black and white photos and paintings of naked ladies. 
Bread basket with assorted breads, butter, sea salt, chilli flakes and taramasalata
Starter - monkfish tartare, herbs, and pipette with oil and flavourings
It was the first time I've had a dish with a plastic pipette in it - very exciting! The monkfish tartare was delicious and substantial, made even more interesting by the savoury herb-infused oil from the pipette. 
Starter - foie gras terrine
Little grunts of pleasure were coming from Manbacon's side of the table, so I took that as a sign that his foie gras starter was highly enjoyable. 
Main - White fish, rice and oysters
My main was another sculptural dish - don't the little sticks poking out of the rice oblong remind you of a robot head? Delicious fish again, but the oysters were the real winner here. 
Main - veal liver with root vegetable mash
Manbacon had no complains about his veal liver - in fact, he was too busy savouring it all to speak much. 

Although we were stuffed to the gills by the time we finished our mains, we had to get dessert too. The creamy, sweet sabayon was complemented with a cold, slightly tart raspberry (I think?) sorbet, not too heavy, but the perfect end to an already wonderful meal. 
Dessert - Sabayon with strawberries and sorbet

I'm saving my pennies and planning on another trip across the Channel soon, just to sample more of the menu. 

20 Rue Royale
62100 Calais 

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