Being British most of my knowledge of Thanksgiving has been derived from US sitcoms and it mostly involves everything going wrong but everyone coming together anyway and realising that it might not be perfect but that the important thing is being with family and friends (old and new) and being grateful for what they have. It also involves a lot of turkey and all sorts of weird pies that involve marshmallows and other foods like yams that I don’t actually really understand.
Along with Black Friday, another American import that makes little sense over this side of the pond, Thanksgiving seems to have become a ‘thing’, in London at least, catering for all the expats.
Whilst it might take some convincing yet to get me to go the whole hog (or should that be turkey?) with Thanksgiving foods, an invitation to sample Dirty Bones’ Dirty Feast, a menu of specials providing a casual diner-esque twist on the full sit down meal with all the trimmings.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and coming together (and cursed with a pescetarian boyfriend who makes meaty sharing style platters difficult), I thought this might be a good opportunity to meet Flick whose blog I’ve read for a while now and who I’ve been wanting to meet in real life since we spent time corresponding via email about a little feature that she did on me over on her blog about a year ago (which you can read here), seriously though, if you aren’t a reader already, do head over to her blog They Called It The Diamond Blog, her recipes always sound mouthwateringly amazing and her photography is on point. Luckily she was free and up for heading into London for the evening.
We met at the Dirty Bones Soho branch, located on the top floor of a currently rather festive Kingly Court. It was busy when I arrived and the atmosphere buzzy so if you’re ever thinking about going down on a Friday night then definitely do book, or be prepared to wait with drinks at the bar.
Our waiter explained that the Thanksgiving cocktail on offer, the Pardoned Turkey, was a cream-based cocktail and so suggested that it would be better after the main meal rather than with it. Happy to take the recommendation, we instead ordered from their regular drinks menu, a Top Dog (vodka, strawberry, chambord and lemon and prosecco) for me and The Littlest Hobo (gin, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup and cider) for Flick.
We chatted and sipped and generally got to know each other better as we waited for our food to arrive. It was a monster of a sharing platter – fried chicken, jalapeño corn bread muffins, mac & cheese, collard greens, rosemary fries and a little pan of sage gravy for dipping or pouring.
The chicken was a mixture of drumsticks and chicken breasts, all coated in a crisp coating which gave way to surprisingly moist chicken. Hidden underneath the chicken was a bed of rather heavily salted fries. Flick polished off most of the collared greens whereas I dug into the mac and cheese. The cornbread muffins contained jalapenos baked into them and provided a spicy kick with which to mop up the gravy.
Defeated by the quantity of fries and food generally we were served our Pardoned Turkey, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, double cream, vanilla and cardamom syrup, finished with a ‘turkey’s crown’ of green apple and a cinnamon stripe. It was a good recommendation by our waiter to have it after our meal as it was indeed creamy and was a kind of pre-dessert. The apple and cinnamon combination reminded me of Christmas and little German festive biscuits.
Our dessert quickly followed – a chocolate ganache tart with pumpkin pie gelato and pumpkin brittle. It wasn’t overwhelmingly chocolately and the main flavour hit came from the gelato. I’m not sure I’ve ever had pumpkin, either on its own or in a pie, so I can’t speak to how pumpkin pie-y it actually was but it was nice.
We finished our dessert but hadn’t finished chatting and so retired to the bar for one more drink each – a Deputy Dog (tequila, blood orange, fresh mint and ting) and a Djinn Djinn (gin, martini rosso, grapefruit, raspberries, cucumber and ting).
I had such a lovely night with Flick at Dirty Bones, it’s totally encouraged me to face my constant fear that I’m just not cool enough for all of the people who amuse and inspire me online and to try and get out a bit more and to meet new people and more bloggers. I left very Thank-FULL.
If you want to sample the Thanksgiving Dirty Feast at Dirty Bones for yourself, the special is still available tonight (if you’re super speedy) or in the evening of Sunday 29 November in both the Kensington and Soho branches. The two course meal is £22 per person (for a minimum of two people) with the Pardoned Turkey cocktail at £9.50 a pop.
Our meal was provided on a complimentary basis but the views expressed here are my own unbiased opinions. Thanks Dirty Bones!