Sunday, 25 July 2010
It was over thirty years ago that I read a review of La Giralda, Pinner Green in the London Evening Standard. And I was brave enough to turn up on my own, on spec, to see if I could get a table. It was packed and I think I got the last seat in the room. In those days it was owned by an Englishman named David Brown and his Spanish wife. Carmen. I had a wonderful meal and Chris and I have been back three or four times a year ever since. There have been a couple of mediocre experiences but the staff have always been helpful and dealt with them positively. Indeed over the last thirty years the staff have hardly changed. They are all Spanish and at least two of them are part owners. Juan, everyone's favourite waiter, has now retired but from time to time he returns from Norfolk to fill in whilst one of the others goes back to Spain.
It was my birthday on Sunday and Chris was off to Derbyshire to make violins for a week. So on Saturday evening he took me to La Giralda. The menu is quite extensive but there are 3 main courses that they do exceptionally well. Paella - which is enormous and not for the faint-hearted, rack of lamb in local honey, and Chateaubriand. You can see which one we had! It was gorgeous, meltingly tender and served medium-rare exactly as we like it. And they also make fantastic Bearnaise sauce.
I'd started with gazpacho which is another of their specialities. Chris had his usual paté. I can't remember him ever having a different starter there, but then adventurous is not a word you would apply to my husband!
I finished with profiteroles (as it was nearly my birthday). Chris went for the fruit salad just to make sure I looked even more of a pig.
With sherries, a bottle of house red and a glass of dessert wine the bill was a modest £67.
We are lucky to have such a gem on our doorstep. Restaurants around here come and go but you still need to book this one to be sure of a table. By the time we left on Saturday night it was completely full. After 30 + years business is still booming. Oh and by the way, the lunches are a steal.