What had appealed to us was the restaurant’s declared commitment to the “farm to table” concept. Local and seasonal is how we generally choose to eat. What was not appealing was the lack of any atmosphere in the place. It is a large room and we were, literally, the only customers. It’s always a bit spooky when that happens – you wonder what others folks know that you don’t.
There were, however, no worries about the food. There’s a short menu – maybe eight choices for mains, perhaps double that for starters, if you include the salads. As a freebie, there was excellent sourdough – a light open texture and a crisp crust. And a garlic infused oil to dip into
There was a spicy and tasty soup to start. A tomato based broth, decorated with a few mussels, chunks of chorizo and chickpeas. Very Spanish in style. Very delicious.
The other starter was described as rillettes of Pickett’s smoked trout. In fact, it wasn’t rillettes as I know them. More small chunks of the fish in a thick cream. There was a nice little background hint of the smoke and a little mild cheese flavouring to the cream, It came served with thin slices of toasted bread – I think the sourdough again.
For a main course, ravioli were filled with ricotta. The pasta was served a little past “al dente” but was still generally fine. But it was the garlic/cream sauce that was the star here. A good flavour to the cream but it was further enhanced with a smoky pancetta and very flavoursome roast tomatoes. A cracking plate of food.
The other dish brought a bowl of wet polenta, topped with steamed chard and a slice of roasted pork shoulder. Nothing to shout from the rooftops about but it was good, straightforward cooking that did the job.
We passed on dessert but my partner ordered a French Press coffee, for no other reason that we’d never heard of it before. By the time it came, we had worked out that it must be what we call a cafetiere. And it was. And it was good coffee.