Teeny tiny photo of the Scotch Eggs from the Martins West website
I keep forgetting to take my own photos. And I’ve been terribly remiss about contributing to this site and my foodspotting page, but don’t worry, it’s not that I haven’t been eating.
Recently revisited Martins West after seeing True Grit in Redwood City. The food, libations and movie were all excellent (as was the company).
Martins West touts itself as a gastropub, which they define as “n. A public house that specializes in serving high-quality food.” Funny enough, but it never occurred to me that “pub” was short for public house. Etmology curiosity: FAIL!
The menu draws upon Scottish fare. The Scotch Eggs are fantastic and curious: tiny quail eggs (I guess that is why the photo is so small) that have been soft-boiled, wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried. How do they do that?!
Also delicious this night were the Chickpea-Ricotta Fritters served with harissa, piquillo pepper aioli, and arugula. They were a loose cross between chickpea panisse and arancini—chickpea dough with melted cheese oozing from the center. Fried, of course.
We also had the Seared Seared Sweet Bread Torchon which was a patty (think crab cake) made of sweetbreads and served with fried brussels sprouts and bacon caramel. It was good, especially combined with the arugula garnish, but I’ve had other sweetbread preparations that I liked more (one memorable at John Bentley’s in Redwood City).
I especially enjoy the cocktails at MW. Our barkeep was Danny, who was super friendly and taught us some things about mixing drinks (how to get good froth—proteins!). We liked all of these, all $10 each:
- Pimm’s Punch
Pimm’s No. 1, ginger, Martinique sugar, Angostura bitters. They make their own fresh ginger puree—raw ginger blended with water and cane sugar. Served without a straw so you can get full effect of the aromatics.
- Lone Wolf
Redemption Rye, organic cider, Tupelo honey & bruised sage. I think he also added some ginger syrup (not the fresh puree mentioned above) and citrus juice (lemon or lime, not sure).
- Bulliet Sour (their misspelling, not mine)
Bulleit Bourbon, Sugar, lemon & egg white. Very tasty. Going to have to stock some Bulleit bourbon, and maybe get some of those cute little Bulleit-branded glasses like they have at Town Restaurant.
I have to say I prefer the joint when it’s not so crowded. It can be loud, as it’s a large open space without a lot of noise dampening. The decor is cool—recycled architectural salvage pieces abound. Definitely worth a (re-)visit.