Chef George Livesey’s culinary CV reads like a Who’s Who of the UK restaurant scene (we’re talking St John, Club Gascon, several Roux institutions and the White Rabbit in Dalston), and all that experience is paying off handsomely at Bulrush. The Bristol gaff he runs with wine-savvy partner Katherine Craughwell received its first Michelin star in 2018, and we can understand why. Together, they’re an “enthusiastic and skilled couple” who have turned these premises into a genuine neighbourhood restaurant with a “relaxed but very professional” outlook.
Meanwhile, George’s kitchen delivers “amazing food at unassuming prices” – you can get an eight-course tasting menu for a mere £55 a head, Tuesday to Thursday, whereas on Fridays and Saturdays, a ninth course is thrown in for a doable additional fiver. With seasonal flavours and foraged pickings figuring prominently on the menu, and lots of perky, imaginative ideas executed with real élan, the menus are constantly changing, but always exciting. Think pig’s trotter with gooseberries and a duck liver macaron; Orkney scallops with green strawberries and lemon verbena; and Chew Valley strawberries, wheatgrass parfait and camomile.
There’s also a vegetarian tasting menu showcasing British vegetables in the most humble and innovative way: Isle of White tomatoes are simply (but wonderfully) served with smoked ricotta and watermelon, whereas the leek and seaweed terrine comes complete with coal crème fraiche and summer truffles. Don’t leave before trying the cheese board, which is a celebration of English types, served with crackers and chutneys.
From the a la carte, dishes such as whole roast quail with asparagus and morels feature on the starters list, while stars of the likes of Tokyo turnip with girolles and fermented cep broth or guineafowl with almonds and a green tomato and elderflower salsa can be expected as mains.
Katherine’s drinks list covers everything from local beers, cider and cocktails to a decent showing of biodynamic wines.