Michelin-starred chefs, Chris and Jeff Galvin have come up with a “Taste of Summer” menu for each of their five award-winning restaurants which celebrate the best of seasonal produce and hope to inspire people to experience fine dining at accessible prices.
Working with the head chefs of each of their restaurants, the five menus – each with five dishes – represent the personality of each chef and the spirit behind the restaurants, Galvin La Chapelle, Galvin at Windows, Galvin Bistrot & Bar, Galvin Bar & Grill, and Galvin Green Man.
At a special event in London, I had the privilege to taste one dish from each tasting menu during an unforgettable evening at Galvin at Windows, the restaurant at the top of the Hilton Park Lane in London, with unparalleled views of the city.
The starter, a Chilled Charentais melon soup – the creation of Chris Ball, Head Chef at Galvin Green Man – was like an advertisement of what summer flavours are all about. The sweetness of the melon combines with the freshness of mint and the nuttiness of almonds, a reminder of all things Mediterranean. Michaela, our sommelier that evening, paired with it an extra-dry Corte delle Calli Prosecco, from the Veneto region, a sparkling wine with hints of pear and citrus fruit.
Chilled Charentais melon soup, with fresh almond and mint, by Chris Ball, Head Chef at Galvin Green Man, the award-winning gastropub near Great Waltham, Essex.
Next came the fish course, courtesy of Arturo Granato, Head Chef at Galvin La Chapelle. Cured Cornish bream, watermelon, crab emulsion, water kimchi and nettle oil. The variety of flavours and textures in this dish were like a symphony on the palate. You could taste every single flavour in harmony with the others but still allowing the fish to shine through. Michaela served a 2020 slightly sweet Riesling from New Zealand (Seifried, Nelson), which lingers in your mouth to reveal notes of apple and tropical fruits.
The third course was Limousin veal, with salt baked celeriac, charred hispi cabbage and sauce Ravigote. Created by the head chef at Galvin at Windows, Marc Hardiman, this dish celebrates what is considered by many as the best veal in the world – famous for its pale colour and tenderness – letting its delicate flavour shine though thanks to the clever accompaniment of silky celeriac mash and a parcel of cabbage with veal mince, carrot and celeriac that was simply delicious. The silky Ravigote sauce, with the acidity and crunchiness of the pickles, brings all the elements of the dish together. The wine this time was a 2021 red from the Loire Valley, L’Enjouée 2021, Famille Ogerau. Best served slightly chilled, its flowery and spicy nose tones continue in the palate, accentuating the fresh and joyful character of this wine.
Left, second course created by Arturo Granato, Head Chef at Galvin La Chapelle: cured Cornish bream, watermelon, crab emulsion, water kimchi, and nettle oil. Right, the meat dish by Galvin at Windows’
There had to be a cheese somewhere in the menu and in this case, it was Head Chef Leonis Semakin, from Galvin Bar & Grill, who presented us with a portion of succulent, velvety Selles-sur-Cher goat’s cheese – from Centre-Val de Loire – accompanied by fresh honeycomb and seeded crackers. The intense nutty and salty flavour of the cheese balances beautifully with the sweet honeycomb and the cracker, as do the combination of textures, creamy, chewy and crispy. The wine chosen for this course is a Sauvignon Blanc from 2022, Attitude by Pascal Jolivet, also from the Loire Valley. Fresh on the palate, citrusy on the nose and with just the right level of minerality.
Dessert course created by Head Chef Joe Albina, from Galvin Bar & Bistrot: buttermilk pannacotta, accompanied by Oakland farm strawberries and pistachios.
Last, our waiter Andrea brought us dessert. A buttermilk pannacotta – with just the right wobble – topped with a strawberry jelly and complemented with Oakland farm strawberries, pistachios and a strawberry coulis. Thank you, Chef Joe Albina, for such a wonderful creation to finish this menu. I could perfectly imagine guests going to Galvin Bistrot & Bar just for this sweet. A Piedmont Moscato D’Asti 2021 by Pio Cesare, with its floral notes, hints of orange blossom and notes of peach and apricot was simply perfect with it.
Brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin with the chefs that made the debut evening of “Taste of Summer” a total triumph.
The “Taste of Summer” menus are available from July to September. Reservations at each restaurant can be made by following these links: Galvin at Windows, Mayfair, London; Galvin La Chapelle, The City, London; Galvin Bistrot & Bar, Bishops Square, London; Galvin Bar & Grill, Russell Square, London; and Galvin Green Man, Chelmsford, Essex.
Words: Julia Pasarón