Baltic Banqueting & Nordic Noshing / Hg2 MUST-EAT

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat for a spot of New Year’s detoxing, then you couldn’t do better than new Baltic restaurant Verru, which opens this month on Marylebone Lane. Inspired by his Estonian roots, executive chef Andrei Lesment has created an innovative menu that merges Baltic and Scandinavian flavours: particularly interesting dishes include pan-fried red mullet with hop shoots, forest mushrooms and beer, cocotte of autumn mushrooms with spatzle, lettuce and pea shoots and salad of roast beetroot, goat’s cheese curd, cep brioche and salt-roasted grilled pears. There’s a set lunch menu too (£14.95 for two courses and £16.95 for three), featuring braised partridge, ceps, brown onion and sage, and grilled rib of beef with spruce-roast shallot, dauphinoise and peppercorn sauce. Don’t forget to leave room for the desserts, which range from custard tart with sultanas and macadamia nuts to elderflower cheesecake with poached rhubarb. Writing about such delicious northern delicacies has set our tummies rumbling here at Hg2, so excuse us while we toddle off to find something suitably hedonistic to nibble on: preferably some of Verru’s beautiful Arbroath smokie, pea and ham soup, or perhaps a plate of Icelandic cod with smoked potatoes, mussels and horseradish brandade (brandade being mashed salted cod, originating from the time when fishermen from Greenland, Iceland and Newfoundland had to preserve their catch with salt in order to transport it: your Hg2 general knowledge titbit for the day).
By Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
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