58 Penton Street
Date of Last Visit: Saturday, September 19th, 2009
The Victims: Chris, Evelien, Al, Louise
The Damage: £50 each
The Background: There's not much background to report. Al & Louise got a sitter. Chris & Evelien got a sitter. So it was that we all went out to eat sans whippersnappers. I was coming from a party down the road at The Albion, so I was wearing very large shoes. These are the things I remember.
The Entrance: The Compass is more than a pub. It's more restaurant-y feeling. It's a nice big open room. To get to the ladies, you need to go down a long staircase. This was a bad thing for me and my shoes. I nearly died. Twice.
The Starter: Three out of five of us got the English snails to start (with garlic and parsley), and wow was this a generous portion. It was almost too many snails, because you know, after you've eaten the 8th or 10th one, you start to think about what it is you're eating. Uggh. I think I counted more than 18 snails on the plate. That's a lot of garden paraphernalia. I forget who, but at least one person at the table had never had escargot before. How have you lived???
The Main: That's my lamb there, with French beans (you can't see them) and new potatoes. (More like potato mash.) This was an EXTREMELY generous portion. I gave away half the lamb to Chris. The meat was pretty competently prepared. A great brown crust. Nice pink meat. (Although they never asked me how I wanted it done.) Ah, and the potato goodness it was all resting on was pretty delicious.
The Service: Either they are the nicest and sweetest servers in the entire world, or my cover was blown. The Compass had a large party upstairs, so our waitress apologized about 10 times for the delay in our food, and comped us the bread and olives. (Pet peeve though…I just don't think you should charge for bread. Olives, maybe. Bread, no.) Really…very attentive and pleasant. Well-done.
The Verdict: I could see myself going back here for a leisurely lunch. Or an early-in-the-week dinner.