Girth Matters in Gastronomy
Alsatian, Richard Weiss realises this. Champion sabreur, at table philosopher and Depardieu look alike, Weiss is the front man of Brasserie St. Jacques, the jolliest incarnation of what was the original ‘Petrus’ many arguments ago. Reassuringly larger than life (the floor springs under his step), not only is he likely to recommend plentiful gutsy dishes for your pleasure, but actually cook a good number of them too. That’s not to say that chef and co business partner (or ‘fellow musketeer’), Laurence Glayzer needs seek another position – his homely garlic and parsley snails with appropriately curled brioche are inspired by the kitchen of Bernard Loiseau. The bone marrow salad is also famed, although on this occasion, I deliberately resisted it in favour of rightly thick, soothing white crab and cucumber gazpacho.
Asking my companion whether she required a big flame with her well hung Scotch sirloin with green peppercorn sauce, Weiss eagerly asserted that ‘size matters’ before nearly singing his floppy fringe. Fortunately a wind farm of furiously oscillating fans distracted the smoke alarms.
Built from skirt ‘for flavour’ rather than fillet, my steak tartare with crisp but I have to admit, over enthusiastically seasoned chips was blended with rich mayonnaise. This was embellished with deeply salted anchovies, pert cornichons, aromatic cognac, savoury pepper from Espelette which smelt of bacon, and umami laden Worcestershire sauce - ‘for the entente’. On par with my erstwhile finest tartare savoured in an inebriated moment at Hush’s ‘Silver Room’, Weiss announced, ‘now I’ll have to kill you because you know the recipe’ as it grandly landed in front of me.
Weiss had delivered a generous, authored meal, the portions in proportion to an appetite for pleasure.
Brasserie St. Jacques: 33 St James Street, London. SW1A 1HD
First Published: Foodepedia