It’s pretty special when visiting a new town to get the chance, without obscene amounts of forward planning, to eat at one of their loveliest restaurants. We were lucky with Garagistes, popped by around 6.30 and got on the list for a 9pm table – perfect timing in my opinion.
Lovely little nibbles to start, herby yoghurt, pickled beet greens, radish and heirloom carrot.
They do either a 3 or a 5 course menu. We asked for the vegetarian menu (obviously) and then had a long debate over how to deal with the fact I wanted the 3 course and he wanted the 5. Thankfully we asked the wonderful service staff and it was no problem to meet halfway and get four courses each – making it possible to try everything on both menus – score!
poached duck egg with brassicas, fried saltbush and chrysanthemum. The guts of serving raw cauli and broccoli convinced me this was a place for me.
tartare of jerusalem artichoke with stinging nettles, pinenut emulsion and golden garlic. Those are fried pieces of jerusachoke skin on top there, wonderful.
florence fennel with cacioricotta and perpetual spinach. This was the boys favourite, fennel done perfectly with great complementary flavours and textures.
braised poitou leeks, buckwheat lettuce sauce and chrysanthemums. Tiny sweet leeks offset with creamy sauce and slightly wilted gently bitter lettuce. This was my favourite course.
kunzea parfait, sunchoke butterscotch, puffed buckwheat, black garlic and chocolate. This was the least sweet dessert I have had, not bad though – the restraint on the sweetness let the depth of flavour really come through. Surprising but lovely.
salt and vinegar mille feuille, forced rhubarb, strawberry sorbet – a more traditional dessert, if you can really say that of anything at this place. The citrus tang of the rhubarb was great, very in favour of more sour or savoury options for rhubarb.