The first thing I noticed about the new 64 Degrees in Cambridge St Pimlico was that there was no one there. There was just one other diner. It’s a much larger restaurant than the one in the Lanes in Brighton so have the owners over extended themselves? My guest who lives in the same street has been there three times, likes it a lot, informed me that it does a good evening trade but its location is residential rather than office and not bang in the centre of town as in Brighton in primarily a popular, restaurant area.
The dishes were recognisable as was the formula of the shared platter. The seared foie gras was so scrumptious that I promptly ordered a second dish. We also ordered the pheasant, organic halibut, lobster, purple broccoli. Michael the owner was supervising the kitchens and ensuring the high standards of flavour were maintained. We had two glasses of Riesling, a bottle of Pinot noir and two more glasses of red and the bill came to £141 where in Brighton I guess it would be less than £100. Here they did have a set menu and I worry that cost and location may affect the popularity or all the profits of the Brighton one will have to go to keep this one going. It’s situated in a boutique hotel, the Artist in Residence and I don’t know the arrangement between the two.
I never likes empty restaurants. I like to people watch. I like to see a couple on their first date, a man with his mistress, ladies who lunch, the odd business meeting all in the mix that creates that elusive quality of atmosphere. In Langans in its hey-day you could forgive a cuisine that was hardly exceptional for being a fun “in” place. I recall a man seeing his girlfriend on another table, walking over and instead of saying hello pouring the while of the champagne in the bucket or a business breakfast at the Wolseley when the parties fell out and one with an expletive turned the table over. Happily I have known my guest for over 40 years and am godmother to one of his children so we had a civilised catch up.