Last Thursday we had a return fixture lunch at the Rocpool Restaurant in Inverness. We met up with friends from Aberdeen and were with two friends from Portugal. Being six allowed us to explore Steve’s interesting wine list in more detail.
We kicked off with a bottle of the crisp and refreshing 2017 Albariño, Rias Baixas from Paso Senorans.
In between time we went for a chaser (a couple of glasses between the six of us) of I Think Manzanilla Rama from Bodegas Navazos
Once again we chose the excellent and very fairly priced £16.95 two-course lunch menu. The quality of the cooking is very good and successfully imaginative.
My first course with thin slices of cold pork with a tuna mayonnaise – delicious:
pork ‘tonnato’ sliced pork loin with tuna mayonnaise
dressing, rocket leaves, lemon & caper berries
2016 Assyrtiko, Vassaltis, Santorini
Finding that the Albariño had emptied rather quickly we ordered the very impressive 2016 Assyrtiko, Vassaltis, Santorini, with good concentration and lovely balance. Impressive wine.
In anticipation of our main courses we selected two Italian reds. First up: Rapace, Uccelliera, Toscana IGT, Montalcino, 2011, Rapace is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rapace translates as rapacious. This may have been a fitting description of our lunch party, at least some of us, as we enjoyed and duly dispatched this concentrated, elegant and well balanced red – powerful but with good freshness in the long finish.
My main course followed the quality of my first. I opted for the honey & lemon glazed breast of chicken with Moroccan spiced couscous, almond, sultana & fresh coriander with a cucumber & garlic tsatsziki. I don’t often chose chicken in a restaurant – mainly, I think, because I often cook it at home. My chicken was nicely moist and succulent and nicely balanced by the spiced couscous.
Our final wine choice was the 2014 Canace from Cantina Diomede in Puglia and is a blend of mainly Nero di Troia with a small amount Aglianico to provide freshness. The grapes are partially cut and allowed to dry on the vine. This gives a powerful, concentrated red with chocolate and black cherry notes.
I can definitely recommend Rocpool for a long, lingering and enjoyable lunch. You may want a siesta afterwards……
1 Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5NE. Tel: 01463-717274. email@example.com
I am sorry that this posting is rather later in the day than is customary. However, I have been on the West Coast of Scotland, which is remarkably beautiful and remote. Unfortunately wi-fi does not work at all well there. Downloading is often reasonably OK but trying to upload is virtually impossible. Little wonder that people trying to run businesses up there often complain about this poor internet service. It must be a nightmare.