Le Poivrot

Le Poivrot

I am not sure who I felt sorrier for.... Me sitting on a table with a manager who works for my husband. Or for him sitting with the bosses wife, on a Tuesday night with 7 courses plus wine flight ahead of him! Being that he kindly requested my invitation recently at the launch of the new autumn menu launch at Le Poivrot..... the latter!

In the old joke shop between the BRI and Colston Hall, this area is not a natural destination for most. Yet, one well worth making the journey to. Le Poivrot, in the backwaters, screams French Bistrot. However, by their own design with a fresh approach and modern wine. With understated, stylish decor I imagine Le Poivrot will create its own vibe. Certainly, it promises beautiful food and wine.

The new Autumn menu on first glance showed many seasonal ingredients. Quince, figs, wild mushrooms and leaves from the Severn Project, made for a promising start. Once seated our introduction was a rich duck terrine served with quince. With delicate floral notes, toasted hazelnuts and served with an aromatic Arbois Chardonnay. It was a strong start! Followed by a beetroot and goats cheese salad, with a creamy and light goat cheese mousse. Non-goats cheese fans would not be overwhelmed with sour/goaty flavours. Elevated with earthy, pickled baby beets and candied walnuts for sweetness and texture. Paired with a US Reisling, with fruity tones and beautiful velvety honey.

Next up was a French classic that I have never actually tried! Steak tartare. Not served in a traditional sense Le Poivrot describes this as their signature dish. Coarsely chopped steak with fine cornichons brought acidity amidst the rich confit yolk. Peppery radishes and sharp caperberries contrasted and topped off with generous truffle dusting. The red wine match for this dish was my favourite for the evening. A classic blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah grapes. Aged in concrete vats for 6 months, giving a juicy, red fruit profile and very drinkable!

As we progressed and becoming increasingly full we did not lack enthusiasm! Next up was subtle flavoured partridge. Served with sweet baby parsnips, plump, ripe juicy blackberries and earthy sprouting broccoli. The wine match was not one I could personally quoff on its own as it was bold. Yet, with this dish, the Bordeaux blend came into its own. Finally, it would seem unfair not to mention the bavette frites. Highly flavoured, this loose textured cut was perfectly seasoned and accompanied with frites. Beautiful community initiative The Severn Project, Bristol salad leaves completed the dish with a Bordeaux Superieur. Delicious.

I wish Alisdair and Richard all the best in their endeavors at LE POIVROT. Hoping it brings as much success as Redlight. Thank you for hosting me at your Autumn menu launch. The menu is spot on and look forward to stopping in again soon!

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

Wild Beer Company

Wild Beer Company

Had a chance to pop back to Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf this week for Mr FFFs bday! With the sun shining and prime seats in the deckchairs the kids seemed pretty happy (win no. 1!) and we settled into a 'running with sceptres' larger from Bristols Lost and Grounded Brewers:Very nice too.

Whilst the kids happily tucked into their fish and chips, we anticipated the fish platter feast: Calamari, fish tempura and fish in panko crumbs, smoked salmon, samphire and prawns to name a few. We just about finished it all and it was thoroughly enjoyed! So if you find yourselves harbour side this summer and fancy an excellent variety of draft beers (and gin and wine too!) and some delicious food, I would recommend a stop off at Wild Beer! Let me know what you think! 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