#Instalunch: St Luke’s Kitchen
A Library, by its very definition, is a place set apart to contain books, periodicals, and other materials for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution. However, this is 2016 and heaven forbid we should be going by the book. Having just celebrated its 2nd birthday, Library provides a bit more than a silent section and a hostile front desk. Eclectic and innovative design set the scene, capturing the cosy interiors of a well-loved library with the luxury of the city, think grand bar, wellness rooms and, of course, a restaurant. Yes, there is no rules against eating here – armed with our just appetites and our phones, we eschewed that pesky membership clause to sample what St Luke and his Library kitchen had to offer.
WHAT WE ATE
As you walk up and down the staircase to and from the Kitchen, the stained glass figure of Saint Luke, the patron saint artists, bookbinders, brewers, butchers and stained glass makers, bids you welcome and adieu. As we took to our seats it was clear the Library theme runs deep as we took note of fairytale bookmarkers and table-top novels. However, when it came to the menu, attention turned to the cookbooks with locally sourced, seasonal produce and classic flavours. First up, a beautiful presented Beef Steak Tartare with a do-it-yourself approach courtesy of a delicate Quail’s egg patiently waiting to the side and some much-welcome bread to accompany. Seared Scallops, atop cauliflower & truffle oil veloutè, was rich and perfectly soft without losing its freshness. Pistachio Encrusted Lamb Rack was next, proving a fine partner to the most delicious parsnip crisps whilst monkfish wrapped in Parma ham found a new direction with mixed peppers. A side of tenderstem broccoli, though doing its job, did unfortunately lack a punch of any kind. With little room remaining, a white chocolate cheesecake rounded off the meal with a delicious screw-your-face-up raspberry coulis to cut through the density.
WHAT WE DRANK
From the gloriously attentive staff came a recommended glass of Champagne Pommery Brut, a light and refreshing start to a robust meal. The Prosecco that followed was sweeter and dry and just as much of a match for the menu that was easily drinkable from starter to dessert.
WHAT’S THE COST?
It’s definitely for treat day, with starters ranging from £8 – 13.50 and mains as high as £25.50. However, each dish is carefully considered and undeniably good quality so why not spend a few extra pennies now and then.
What’s The Verdict?
Surrounded by intimate dates and boisterous catch-ups alike, there was a great atmosphere in St Luke’s Kitchen thanks to both diners and staff. The menu boasts seasonal and local produce in all its glory, but careful with your selections – several key ingredients appear throughout this small menu so ensure to mix it up to avoid one flavour coming out on top. At the end of your meal, ensure you stay for a cocktail or two to complete the full member’s experience.