Spuntino)? Or beetroot carpaccio, sheeps ricotta and merlot vinaigrette (the Riding House Cafe) or glazed duck, daikon and foie gras “mille feuilles” and braised lolly leg (L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon)?
I'll let you into a little secret. I'm not having beetroot carpaccio with merlot vinaigrette either. Well, not tonight. But I might, tomorrow. This isn't because I've won the pools (the pools? does anyone still do them?) or that I'm sitting on a secret stash that I've never let you in on. Nope. It's because I belong to a supper club. Sounds exclusive, doesn't it? That's because it is. Me and a few very select people (some of my bestest friends) belong. But that doesn't mean you can't start your own.
Ever stopped reading a review of a restaurant in a newspaper thinking; why am I reading this? I'm never going to go there, it's too expensive? With a supper club this need never happen. The world is your oyster.
The secret? Open a bank account. That's the tricky bit. Then you and your chosen few put a few quid (£10 or £20 should do it) in a month, and after six months, voila! You have £60-120 to spend every six months. Suddenly all those expensive restaurants you read about are within reach. You can plot or plan which one to go to. My husband has a supper club and each member takes a turn choosing the restaurant, not divulging the destination until they've all met in the pub beforehand.
If you're canny you won't have a blow out each time. Instead you'll go to some buzzy place, with a great reputation, which doesn't cost the earth. Our inaugural supper club was at the Lahore Kebab House about ten years ago. The restaurant was cheap - water came from a water fountain at the side of the restaurant, busy and delicious. We spent about a tenner each. Which meant we had LOADS for our next meal at Roka. And when the bill comes you hardly even notice because you have already paid. It is like it's FREE!
The best thing about supper club is that it is an unmoveable date in the diary. So often going out has to be rescheduled because of work, school or clashes with spouse's social life (Mr McDonald!) but you can't reschedule supper club. It is in the diary months in advance and it's special status means you get to see a group of your closest bestest friends on a regular-ish basis. Plus eat great food.
I thoroughly recommend it.