What is beautiful, really? Sure, I like a scene sometimes. Chandeliers lit low, champagne by the bucketful, vaguely electronic music bleeping somewhere and an escorted walk to the ladies. But I like a lack of scene equally so. I like a sun-dappled table, a cheerful barman, a restaurant full of equally cheerful waitstaff, and good butter. Yes, I like good butter. Butter so good that your friend asks for it to be wrapped up so we can take it home.
Did I mention I like oysters? How about oysters WITH CAVIAR? So surprising and you are so not paying attention that you assume, from a distance, that there’s a blackberry there, on your oyster. There are oysters with chorizo too. Oysters with hot chorizo! Perfection.
The best of smoked mackerel with gooseberry jelly and horseradish. It could end here and you could leave happily. Trust me.
But you keep going, you persevere. To the hake filet with vegetable pistou and MUSSELS. Do you understand that I like seafood? A LOT. I am happy. Very happy. The sun is setting and the air is coming in through the windows from the sea. I use the word mansplain during dinner — that was probably a mistake — but otherwise, this is quite a fine meal with quite fine company and I am the happiest of happies as I leave The Sportsman, hoping with hope that this is not the first and last time, that there will be many times.
The Verdict: Dear darlings, go.