This time next week, two things will have changed - the clocks will have gone forward an hour, heralding the arrival of British Summer Time, and the first ever bottle of Wednesday’s Domaine will have been sold, marking the transition from a dream to a reality.
With our trial bottling run taking place tomorrow, get down to Club Soda’s Alcohol-Free Off-License this Friday (59 Great Portland Street, 4 - 8 PM) to be one of the first people to get your hands on a very limited number of bottles available for sale.
🇫🇷 Your Favourite Restaurant You’ve Never Been To… 🇫🇷
Seeking to interpret the deliberately ill-defined French phrase je ne sais quoi may seem futile, but if we work on the basis that it represents “a quality that cannot be described or named easily” then we have the foundations for what follows next…
Whilst its address cites a location in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement, Chez Janou’s soul unashamedly lies around 500 miles south in sunny Provence. From the moment you first engage - whether strolling up and setting eyes on its striped awnings overhanging abundant wallflowers and locals dedicatedly working their way through a pack of Gitanes, or via the website that houses their very own attempt at a vintage French caper movie - Chez Janou prompts “memories of long, languorous summer afternoons spent playing petanque while sipping pastis on summer holiday”.
Whilst famed for its pastis collection - they have over 80 lining their zinc-topped horseshoe bar - it has to be its homely atmosphere and quiet but cocksure charisma that keeps the punters cramming in day after day. With a menu that slides seamlessly from baked mussels through to bowlfuls of chocolate mousse, all served on subtly branded crockery, this is somewhere that wilfully evades definition but is all the richer for it.
How would I know? I had the pleasure of going for lunch there last Sunday and recommend you do the same when you next have a chance. After all, what’s the point of reading and writing about all these places if you never have the chance to visit?!
🌶️ Store Cupboard Staples 🌶️
To date, we’ve heaped praise on everything from TABASCO (#1) to anchovies (#5), Worcestershire Sauce (#8) to crispy fried onions (#3). Questioning their commonalities, we always come back to their collective versatility and their individual abilities to elevate almost any dish.
Enter any kitchen, fling open the cupboards and I’m almost certain you will find two items - some form of jam and a variety of chilli sauce. What you’re less likely to find, however, is a hybrid of the two - a chilli jam - and that’s a shame, because once you’ve got that in your locker, everything changes.
Chilli jams - whether Scotch Bonnet sizzlers or those with a mere hint of heat - have a playful habit of lulling you into a false sense of security, their apparent familiarity reassuring you that a spoonful with your cheese won’t take your head off, nor will the odd dollop do much to alter any dish it goes into. Well, if you think that, you’d be wrong on both counts. If you were to reverse the proverb that a barking dog never bites, you begin to get a sense of what any good chilli jam is all about.
For me, you can’t go far wrong with the South Devon Chilli Farm’s offering, best enjoyed alongside some cheese or whipped into a salad dressing to give it a little extra something something.
📗 Building Your Recipe Book 📗
It’s been a little while since we last surfaced a few additions to the recipe folder, so with the sun shining and the mercury slowly rising, embrace spring with these beautiful winter salads.
Thank you for reading and hopefully see you Friday,
PS. Don’t want to wait a week for our next edition? Check us out on Instagram (@wednesdaysdomaine).