Want Michelin quality food and service without the price tag? Well, my gluten free lovelies, allow me to introduce you to The Orrery.
Tucked up at the north end of Marylebone High Street, The Orrery is a beautiful and elegant restaurant serving delightful French cuisine.
The menu de jour is £26.50 for three courses. Reasonable, yes? Ah ha - but that's not all! Add in an amuse bouche, a pre-dessert and homemade petit fours and we are talking 6 courses. Had I known I might not have tucked so wholeheartedly into the toasted gluten free bread that arrived unprompted.
Since discovering The Orrery I've been several times already, (always one to practice moderation), and have found their service and gluten free knowledge to be outstanding. The waiters know everything on the (constantly changing) menu and whether it's gluten free or if the chef will make it gluten free specially.
On the last occasion I went I was lucky that none of the starter options were gluten free. Why, you ask? Well, they informed me I could substitute anything from the a la carte and suggested I have the foie gras. Now you are really talking my language.
We were then treated to an amuse bouche - a wonderful little soup of parsnip with a parsley foam, before I tucked into the aforementioned and divinely smooth foie gras, spreading it on crunchy pieces of gluten free toast.
I then, sticking closely to my New Year's diet, opted for the braised shin of beef with pommes puree. It was rich and melty and totally divine.
For desert I could have had a selection from the vast an aromatic cheese trolley. On a previous visit I had a heavenly pannacotta. Instead (remembering that diet) I chose the homemade sorbets they offered me - and they were the best sorbets I've ever had. Each of the trio was bursting with the intensity of the flavour: coconut, blackberry, raspberry; and the dish was as pretty as a picture. A perfect end to a meal full of flavours and textures.
That's what you'd think. Then come the petit fours. And what petit fours! Even though we were all contentedly full, the portions being perfectly sized so that you aren't too stuffed, we tried each one with excitement. My favourite was the highly alcoholic rum truffle. Bam! Woo.
I'd hurry if I were you before they do get a Michelin star and then the menu could, deservedly, double in price!
Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★★
Verdict: A perfect gluten free fine dining experience, for a deceivingly low price.