5 February 2018

Cargo’s Tess and Elliot Lidstone busted out of their box and did just fine…

The first of a new series of foodie events at Harvey Nichols Bristol’s Second Floor Restaurant took place last week – in the form of an exciting collaboration between the luxury department store’s executive head chef Louise McCrimmon, and the locally based Lidstone duo.

The latter, owners of Box-E – one of the most popular eateries operating as part of Wapping Wharf’s successful shipping container collective – took over the Harvey Nichols dining experience for one night only, inviting guests to share in their first official ‘out of the box’ experience.

Seated on Second Floor’s pale golden sofas and greeted by Tess, with her front-of-house finesse and flutes of downright delicious blood orange fizz, we’re allowed a moment to soak up the delightfully retro elegance of the dining space, before Elliot emerges from the kitchen to introduce his dishes.

First up, after a nibble on the crispy ears of pigs, smothered in caramelised apple sauce, is a cooling arrangement of turnip, ceps and truffle, paired with Maturano 2015 by Farinelli, Lazio – the one wine Tess and Elliot just had to bring over from their Cargo container for the night. The orange-hued Tuscan tipple, a skin-contact white wine, is a real grower with a lovely farmhouse flavour.

Next comes delicate mackerel with pickled fennel, preserved lemon and black olive – a cracking combo in our book and the stand-out savoury dish. With this we opt for a fruity Sardinian number from HN’s own wine list; Vermentino di Galleria 2016.

The meat course, which calls for silky Amphorae 2014 by Maison Williams Chase, comprises roast breast and confit duck leg with cauliflower and gochujang – a spicy-sweet Korean condiment made up of elements including chili powder, fermented soybean, barley malt and salt which gives the tender duck a piquant kick.

Characteristically elegant and imaginative, Elliot’s extra-curricular culinary exercise concludes with lightest macaron embellished with moreish whipped ricotta, tart rhubarb and pistachio – and proves itself a suitably stylish match for Harvey Nicks that we keep our fingers crossed will occur again soon…

Harvey Nichols’ next foodie collaboration takes place on 21 March when Duck and Waffle’s Dan Doherty brings his supper club ‘Sprout’ to the Second Floor Restaurant.