Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Checked in: Hoi Polloi


Sorry it's been awhile since my last post, but time flies by when your stressed out and busy. Well in less than two weeks, Hub and I will be relocating to Rio de Janeiro! I'm so excited and anxious about the whole thing. I've never been to Brazil so it feels pretty much like a crazy dream to be moving somewhere that I can't imagine in my mind. I can't picture it, smell it, touch it or taste it, but everyone tells me how much I'm going love it. Everything in Rio will be new to me: the people, culture, work, life...I mean the list goes on and on.

My last day at work, the wonderfully colorful 34 restaurant, was last Friday and a week prior to my departure I had a fantastic leaving dinner with my crew. My colleagues Gina, Grace and I started off with cocktails at Callooh Callay. It's a fun little bar with a speakeasy room in back. We had some spicy Thai concoction and then moved onto a more spiced up version of the Espresso martini.

We then headed off to Hoi Polloi, new restaurant from the Bistrotheque Group, located in the recently opened Ace Hotel. The main entrance is hidden behind a lovely flower shop on the high street and the room itself feels like a worldly American diner. I liked the warm wooden panels, big globed lamps, and newspaper menus. We started off with oysters and fried snacks: chickpea fritters, pickled onion rings, puffy scratchings and the amazing thousand layered potatoes. They are cooked three times and fried in beef fat (i know) and pulling the layers apart and dipping them into creamy sauces was divine.

Moving onto mains, Grace had plaice with fennel and brown crab and I had the wild mushrooms, artichoke and potato dumplings. YUM. GG kept things semi-healthy with some steamed fish and more of those potatoes. Well in fact we all ordered more of those potatoes cuz they were damn good!

And of course we had dessert. GG got the chocolate barley & black malt ice cream by La Grotta Ices and because no one was watching me, I shared the chocolate Cambridgeshire cream with Grace. But to be fare it was so decadently rich, we didn't finish it. Well I don't think.

We had friends working at Hoi Polloi that night and gave us some good company including Clive Gregory, whose got great hair. It's salt and pepper and curly and I imagine Hub with this kind of coiffure in years to come.

And we had more Espresso martinis. This was very good.

I really like Hoi Polloi and the team is great, everyone was so friendly and the bartenders are not only chatty but make fantastic cocktails. Definitely worth returning to before I leave and if you come here, please order those thousand layered potatoes.

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