The Dysart has been a regular haunt of mine since it opened in its current form, and it was good to see Michelin belatedly giving it a star in the 2020 guide. The dining room has a welcoming feel, with widely spaced tables, stone floor and a real fire. Today there was a tasting menu at £70, a full a la carte and also a three-course set lunch menu at £37.50. For a discussion of the wine list see my previous review.
Our meal began with a plate of canapes. A Parmesan crisp topped with truffle was delicate, and I preferred this to a similar crisp with Seville marmalade and lemon thyme simply because I always find a sweet canape a little strange. Best was pork kromeski (effectively a croquette) with rhubarb chutney and fennel, which was comforting and deeply flavoured (15/20 nibbles on average). A further amuse-bouche was cured black bream with oscietra caviar, lemon cucumber and caper dressing, which featured excellent fish and a dressing that was nicely balanced (15/20).
This was followed by the signature dish of mackerel with champagne sauce, braised daikon and fresh radish. This has been a delight ever since it came on the menu, the sauce refreshing and the perfectly cooked mackerel an excellent complement to the radish (17/20). Cauliflower soup with cauliflower and almond tuile was very good, having plenty of flavour and being well seasoned, with a delicate tuile (15/20). Oxtail risotto made with Acquerello brand aged carnaroli rice was a delight, laced with pickled chillies that worked really well to cut trhough the richness of the oxtail (17/20).
Turbot with morels featured precisely cooked turbot fillet cut from a huge 12kg turbot. The morels were excellent, and the dish came with sauce Jacqueline, a classic sauce involving fish stock, cream, carrots and, in this version, vin jaune from Jura. This was a lovely combination (16/20).
The final savoury course was sika deer loin poached in mulled wine, with cardinal purée (a sauce made with shallots, meat reduction, tomato and cayenne pepper), beetroot, chestnut, Brussels sprouts, roasted coffee, salsify and pepper sauce. The deer was cooked rare and had delicate flavour, and the various accompaniments worked very well with the venison (16/20).
For dessert, apple cake came with pistachios, slices of apple and, on the side, smooth blackcurrant sorbet. This was very good, the cake having excellent texture and the natural sharpness of the fruit working well the cake (15/20). Service was excellent and the bill came to £92 a person, which seems to me very good value. I have always been very fond of The Dysart, and thoroughly deserves its Michelin star.Book