Mesa Tapas and Bar

Mesa Tapas & Bar

Last weekend, Grandma was in town and we took an opportunity to sneak out for some dinner but didn't feel like venturing too far. In the past we have loved a bit of Tapas at Manna on North View, which has recently changed to Mesa Tapas & Bar....so we decided to give it a try! We were pleased to learn that Mesa is still under the Prego Restaurant & Bar umbrella with a revamped, compact menu and refurb with draped pendant lamps, booths and a central table giving it a stripped back cool vibe.

Initially, it seemed appropriate to try the cocktail menu, especially as some of the staff are experienced mixologists....so I started with a Montenegro Spritz which was a welcomed change to an Aperol Spritz. The Amaro Montenegro has an interesting blend of bittersweet, herbal, floral and fruit notes, and well regarded as a 'craft' liqueur. I was also offered the opportunity to order off the cocktail menu too. We also tried the tempronillo which was medium bodied red which was a great food accompaniment.

We started out by ordering the piri piri prawns, mesa pickles and the chorizo and tortilla pinxos, all a fantastic start with our drinks. Further along, we really were drawn to the pulpo a la Gallega, which is a beautiful Galician braised paprika octopus dish which is then browned and served with potatoes. The octopus was super tender and a pure delight! Along with that, we had some Padron peppers which are a great addition or just good on their own, and also some Syrian lentils with cumin yogurt...which were made even more delicious with the paprika potatoes mashed in for a thicker finish!

With a little room left, I ordered a Tarta de Santiago, a Galician almond cake with notes of orange. Hoping to have it all to myself, I was disappointed to have to get 2 folks, as Mr Fuss Free Foodie (who is a Bakewell tart fan!) realised that this was frangipane style heaven! I think I will need to return just to right this wrong!!

All in all an excellent evening, helped along by knowledgeable, down to earth staff with a side order of humour! We look forward to coming back again soon!
Have you been yet? Please show some love or likes if you fancy going too Lisa

Buttermilk and Maple

Buttermilk and Maple

I was invited last week as a guest to the opening of newly launched Buttermilk & Maple which is located on Welshback in the Mercure Brigstow Hotel. Showcasing their brunch menu, I was welcomed warmly by the front of house and seated in the stylish yet relaxed restaurant. The idea is mixing a vibe of Melbourne cafe culture with NYC nightlife which to me looked great for daytime and evening eating and drinking!

Brunch is available until 4pm, and has something for everyone... from English breakfasts to chia fruit bowls. With many egg-based dishes, there are some great vegetarian options, and my favourite being an opulent poached truffle eggs dish served in a skillet; A fondue of Gruyere cheese, truffle cream and sauteed mushrooms with giant toasted sourdough soldiers... it did not disappoint! It was definitely my dish of the day!

There was a great choice of benedicts with kale, spicy pastrami or lobster, my favourite being the pastrami, helped by the 'oh so light' homemade buttermilk biscuits (savoury scones). If you wanted to keep it more simple there is avocado, dukka and poached eggs on sourdough toast, classic maple bacon sandwich, french toast, granola or pancakes. Although they do not have a children's menu, a half-sized portion can be requested or just some eggs on toast.

Dessert ranged from seasonal crumbles, sundaes, doughnuts and carrot cake....of which I tried the latter. Made onsite it was deliciously light and a great balance of cake vs frosting and spices vs sweetness.

The main courses are available from midday until 10 pm which looks fabulous too, not to mention the selection of in-house baked bread, salads and snacks. These will go alongside the extensive drinks menu of craft and draught beer and cider, gins, cocktails beautifully..... and the fiery bloody Mary could serve as an awesome hair of the dog!!

Thank you to all the staff at Buttermilk & Maple for hosting me last week, I think you have crafted a beautiful menu to cater for all tastes in a relaxed and stylish environment and wish you well .....I look forward to trying out the dinner menu very soon!

Which dish would you try? Remember to let us know if you've been or want to go!! Lisa

Pasta Loco

Pasta Loco

I 'm sometimes reticent to go out for pasta as it is one of those fuss-free things to do at home, but Pasta Loco Bristol OMG: This was another level!

Far from the pasta my Nonna used to make this is pasta elevated. Rich, indulgent and full of flavour. We started with the salt cod fritters, which were light as a feather on a tasty pepperonata, with rich aioli and studded with capers, washed down with an Aperol spritz! Great start! Then backed up it up with beautiful caserecci pasta in a thick Norma (aubergine) sauce and goats cheese and linguine carbonara with pork 3 ways. The belly pork was stunning, moist, slow-cooked pork, and crispy skin and stunning salsiccia sausage with subtle fennel flavours. Delicious! The hype I've heard about Pasta Loco is duly justified, and with attentive, personal service, I look fwd to going back and encourage you book and visit! Let us know what you think! Lisa

Bravas

BRAVAS

Last night we walked past Bravas Bristol and seeing people eating the little plates was too much to resist. We stepped in and sat in the window for a pre dinner drink and tapa. When the best seats in the house became available behind us we jumped in knowing full well that we would not be moving from the end of the bar all night. The first bottle of wine was ordered! Donkeyjote...a medium bodied Garnasha....soft, fruity and easy to drink!!! The food was fabulous. Freshly prepared to perfection. The calamari and baby shrimp with aioli were tender and crispy at the same time. The mussels with potato and aioli...salty, sweet and fresh and the cucumber, fennel and pomegranate salad was refreshing and clean. The list could go on! Basically, if you want to feel like you are in Spain with a vibrant ambiance and a great buzz you must go!! The service was spot on too...clearly a well established team who worked in an effortless flow together 5*
PS. Amazing Gin menu too...a must for next time....final red wine bottle count:undisclosed!