There has been a lot of discussion about multi course menus with the now ubiquitous moniker of a Degustation or Degu.
It goes like this with new inquiries.
Hello. Yes is this Sunnybrae?
Yes can we help you?
Yes, do you do a degustation menu?
Well not exactly
Then what’s the style of the menu?
At this point I usually say it’s a long lunch comprising of five substantial courses spread over the course of the afternoon.
More often than not a sigh of relief is heard and a booking might be made.
My first memory of the word degustation comes from the seventies at the beginning of the rise of the “Nouvelle Cuisine” from a French [hey! its a French word] revolutionary culinary movement reacting vigorously against a slothful post war food binge. They used it to present the best seasonal balanced regional menus they could muster up, usually for larger groups to show off their understanding of the balance that centuries of French gastronomy had provided in a modern manner. They took out the trills and do dahs, the frilly garnishes, lightened the liaisons and generally made the experience a soft ride from light to dark from sea to sky to pasture to orchard with such exquisite nuance and structure that you knew it just couldn’t last.
It wound up quickly at the hands of the commercial dilettantes as embarrassingly tiny portions of neophilic anorexic patterns on a plate.
Country restaurants at that time had a different structure. Table d’hote. It translates to ‘host’s table’ In a traditional sense a table d’hote menu is a multi course meal served with [and this is important] a few choices at a fixed price with the cutlery for the savoury courses set at the table on arrival.
And this, I have always felt, was the most convivial format for a country restaurant with a big garden that only serves lunch to present the best of the season.
Sadly Table d’hote does not have the same timbre of a daygoostation or daygoo in this modern era .
But that’s what we do and still believe its the fairest and most generous way to provide a long lunch in the country. I have resisted explaining to date how and why we compose the menu preferring to let you experience it without too much background information to distract you from your companions.That's what the waiters are for if you need to know the fine details.
Tomorrow’s Menu here
Recycled Cartoon Caption Competition.
Willy “I like this restaurant”
Wanda “Yes it’s got a scratch and sniff menu”
Tammy “ Is that a Dogustation?”
Feel free to add your own caption.