I recently had dinner with a companion at this newly opened restaurant in the tastefully furbished upper room of this former church, sensitively transformed into a theatre, bar and venue for that special occasion.
We were shown to our table and our coats taken - didn’t have to hang them on the back of our chairs! The restaurant was quite full but with no feeling of being crowded. The piped music was ‘gentle’ jazz and suited the overall ambience of the place. The lighting didn’t glare but gave enough light to read the menu.
Our waitress, Katie, introduced herself. Throughout our meal Katie was very pleasant, efficient without being obtrusive. Don’t like waiters/waitresses who ‘hover’. A G&T, a fresh orange - I was driving, tap water served in a glass bottle were brought quickly in response to our request along with complementary bread, olives and butter. We were then left to peruse the menu. The bread was delicious, as was the butter mix. I ate far too much of the bread and was tempted to slip the heel left in my bag but resisted!
We ordered one starter, mackerel, chargrilled and cured, smoked beetroot, horseradish mayonnaise, apple. I loved the chargrilled but my companion preferred the cured. A matter of taste. Overall very good.
Two little potato skins, stuffed with beetroot and smoked ham I believe, then arrived. Most acceptable.
For my main course I ordered the wild sea bass, ceviche, fennel, spiced aubergine, crispy courgette, tomato and chilli dressing. The bass was probably the best I’ve ever tasted, firm and dry. Too often it’s served dripping in oil. The rest was very good. I did leave the fennel but not because there was anything wrong with it. I love the taste but not the texture so I nibbled on it! Again it’s a matter of taste. My companion also went fishy with the turbot, artichokes, capers, radish and heritage carrots. He ordered a glass of white wine for this course. I believe two empty plates, apart from the nibbled fennel, say it all. There are plenty of meat choices in case anyone is thinking it’s a fish restaurant!
We shared a sweet of panna cotta, marinated apple, apple sorbet and apple crisps. Most refreshing after all that fish and pleasingly presented as were all the dishes.
A nice touch was the little card with pictures and information about William Leiper and Daniel Cottier. Have been inspired to write longer pieces on these two.
I do have a slight mobility problem so the stairs could have been daunting (I did know in advance re the stairs) but with the help of my much younger companion’s arm and the hand rail it was fine. If you do have mobility problems do ‘phone the restaurant and they will advise you appropriately.
We would both return at some future time and would have no hesitation in recommending it. Check out the website for the menu/prices/availability especially if you’ve got that special event coming up …