Well, not exactly. I’m all for pounding the booze & talking dirty, too. Still, the phrase on the chalkboard at Argyll aptly expresses the laidback conviviality that is this highly acclaimed pub’s forte.
It’s on display not least at the bar during weekend brunch, when my adorable server—who I want to say looked a lot like Idris Elba, but he didn’t; still, you get the tall/dark/handsome idea—didn’t blink an eye when I bellied up alone with my laptop & ordered a bottomless mango mimosa to go with not 1, not 2 but 3 plates, nor when he refilled my glass the 1st time, nor when he refilled it the 2nd, nor when I topped it all off with coffee. Whatta gentleman in the face of gaucherie.
In all that mess, the Scotch egg, the lamb-&-beef house burger with duck-fat onions, & the mac-&-cheese were nowhere to be found; they’ve been covered, I figured, in sufficient glory. But the dish I did start with deserves its own vigorous nod: the “bacon & eggs.”
Cute, right? Atop three slices of crusty grilled bread came perfectly fried quail eggs crisped to the lacy edge & three small chunks of pork belly that appeared to be lacquered with the same garlic vinaigrette—made with roasted cloves, I’m guessing, given its intriguing sweetness; think maple-glazed bacon—that also dressed the frisée. A little bit breakfast bruschetta, a little bit composed salade Lyonnaise, wholly satisfying.
The blueberry coffee cake wasn’t quite what I expected—I was picturing something like this,
but Argyll’s simpler version works too—moist, dense & buttery à la pound cake, with a balancing touch of lemon, I think, along with the single C-swirl of warm blueberry.
Likewise a surprise was the salmon hash.
A far cry from your finely chopped, super-fried leftover standard with corned beef, this was fresh & fancy, from the slightly al dente potatoes, carrots & parsnips to the lightly smoked salmon to the sprinkle of gruyère on top. Though I think I’d have liked it even better had it been more, well, hashlike, I admired its class. And its utter butteriness—damn, it slicked the bottom of the bowl. Note that I skipped the poached eggs the dish usually comes with, my one concession to reason; I can only imagine how runny yolks would have fit into the picture.
But at the time I could only imagine how I’d have fit into the dress I’m wearing to walk the red carpet with the Director this evening at the Closing Night presentation of Black Swan—not a pretty thought.
On that note, I’m off to drink heavily, eat carelessly & speak slurringly at the Starz Denver Film Festival—& I owe it all to Argyll for getting my party started right.