15th July 2016 6.30pm
Nestled in St Stephen’s St, I had been recommended this restaurant by a couple of people, so I was really looking forward to it. The Stockbridge Restaurant offers a choice of a la carte or a set menu (available Tuesday to Friday). There seemed to be plenty that took our fancy and I tried to pick some dishes not too similar for my starter and main. n the end I opted for pigeon breast for the starter followed by grilled halibut for my main. My dining companion for the evening went for rabbit loin to start and seared seabass with crab cake for her main.
Whilst we waited for our starters we were brought out some bread (black olive, white and granary) with butter and a chervil dip. The black olive bread was the best and the dip was beautifully fresh and a nice alternative to the butter. We were the given an amuse bouche of a little plate of prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella, spring onions and a balsamic reduction which was cute and perfectly formed. I did notice that the tap water we had must have had cucumber snuck into it at some point. I really wish restaurants wouldn’t do this (I loathe cucumber).
Our starters arrived, both looking appetising. I tucked into my pigeon which was cooked well and pink. I did discover some shot, which whilst expected would have been nice to have been reminded of before eating (as not all diners would be aware). The accompanying duck liver pate was rich and smooth and was nice with the toasted brioche. Both the crispy pancetta and mushrooms were full of flavour and brought plenty of alternative textures to the dish. The sauce didn’t seem quite right with the pate but worked with the pigeon. My dining companion loved her rabbit, which was moist and tasty. We both noticed we had a few tiny bits of diced tomato on our plates, not even as a garnish, which was a touch odd.
The mains followed and we were both looking forward to fish. Mine was a touch under in the middle but hardly so. The flavour was good. The quails egg was dainty and cooked so it was just a touch runny. The potatoes and spinach served their purpose. The mustard sauce was generous and was delicate yet had some punch. Another revisit from the mushrooms, pancetta and the random pieces of tomato though. On the other side of the table the seabass was going down a treat. The avocado ice cream was good but perhaps didn’t work so well with the warm elements of the dish.
We decided to try desserts. I went for the chocolate brulee and my dining partner went for the banana tart tatin. We were then brought a pre-dessert of rhubarb trifle. This was lovely and a good balance of sweet and tart. Then I got tucked into my chocolate brulee. This was very rich but yummy. The white chocolate mousse was the star of the plate though as it worked with both the brulee and the accompany brownie. The ice cream was also decent. The tart tatin on the other side was a bit unusual as the banana was in large chunks rather than slices and left my friend a bit disappointed, although the butterscotch sauce was of good quality.
We had good service here and the restaurant was nice. I am not sure if it was just because I was looking forward to it so much but I couldn’t help leave feeling a little underwhelmed by the experience, a feeling shared by my friend.
Food – 7/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7/10
Overall – 30/40
Would I eat here again? Not sure
Cost £73 for 2x 3 courses