Over the last couple of years, No 4 has become our favourite local bistro. The menu is Modern Brit – exactly our first choice of what we want to eat. And the food is fairly straightforward – no bells & whistles of cheffy tricks, just good cooking. The sort of food that someone might brag they could cook at home – but they probably couldn’t.
To start, three perfectly cooked scallops sat on a butternut squash puree. You might have thought that the sweetness from the squash wouldn’t work too well with the sweetness of the scallops - but it did. Needless to say, I was drawn to “Pie & peas”. Well, of course I was. And what you get is a mini steak & ale pie, mushy peas and gravy. It does what it says on the tin.
As a main course for one of us, there was a veggie risotto. Decent risotto – creamy with a hint of bite to the rice and cheese that could have made its presence felt a bit more. It comes topped with tempura battered cauliflower which offered a good crisp contrast. The restaurant has a fairly open kitchen and, on the way in, I’d asked the chef what was particularly good. And what was particularly good was a fillet of turbot, with a wine and caper sauce. Potato dumplings, spinach and asparagus completed the plate. Really nice.
There was a contrast in our choice of desserts. For me, a mini Eccles cake, served warm, was spot on for how an Eccles cake should be. It came with a lovely crème brulee. Like the pie that formed the first course, it appealed to the Northerner in me. My partner went south and crossed the Channel for a classic Crepes Suzette. Not something you see too often these days but well worth a retro revival.
All in all, a very pleasant dinner.