According to the Oxford Times, this closed on the 15th August 2008.
Clinton Pugh bought back The Lemon Tree in August 2004 after it had been converted to La Gousse d’Ail, an unsuccessful venture trying to appeal more to the business market. Mr Pugh knows what he is doing, and both the ambience and the menu will appeal to Oxford visitors and the local clientele, encouraging repeat visits.
Set in a North Oxford villa, you pass through a Mediterranean style courtyard to reach the bar at the front of the building. The bar area is luxurious with leather sofas and coffee tables creating a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for sipping a cocktail (prices start at £5) before dinner. The main dining area has a light and airy feel, the predominant colour being, unsurprisingly, lemon yellow, it has a similar Moroccan feel to other Pugh creations such as Kazbar and Bar [Baba]?.
The food was excellent; we started with melt-in-the-mouth scallops served from their shells with a little herb butter and a deliciously rich terrine. The main course duck was equally tender with perfectly savoury crispy skin, served with spring greens (which seemed a little odd in August) and a potato cake. The white chocolate ice-cream for desert was lovely, but that was supposed to be the accompaniment to the slightly disappointing chocolate pudding.
The service was excellent, friendly and efficient; the wine list comprehensive. We shall certainly be returning when we next have something to celebrate!
Food: £25 a head for 3 courses Wine: started at £10 a bottle