I visited Locale Blackheath for the second time on a mild October evening with my fiance and future mother in law.. If it had been a chilly evening however, the sumptious reds of the walls and inviting Chesterfield sofas in the bar area, would have definitely warmed me up! The deep red walls are decorated with large black and white prints of Italians ( I assume…) either glugging the vino straight from the jug, or dangling sheets of pasta above open mouths. The art is slightly at odds, in my mind, with the ambiance in the premises. The pictures suggest a Tratorria to me and not necessarliy the sophisiticated and sleek establishment I feel Locale is. Anyway, as you ascend the staircase the chefs smile as they work as you look to the open kitchen. I personally love an open kitchen and in fact seated myself to be able to watch the creators at work!
Before we took our table we did have a drink in the bar area, and sank in to on one of the afore-mentioned sofas, and gosh, they were terrific! My cocktail was a perfect beginning to the evening. The 3 course mid week menu is very tempting as mentioned above but actually we decided to go from the a la carte. I had the Mozarella Caprese which was delicious and simple. For my main course I plumped for the mixed fish grill served with wild rice. This really was a taste of the sea, with salmon, seabass, squid and prawn, all cooked perfectly with the tastey ‘from the grill’ flavour. Squid, sadly so often over cooked, was just right, and the prawns were delicious, and I enjoyed getting my fingers dirty. The accompanying rice was fluffy and the wild grains tastey and adding interest. I'd be interested to know if they use fish from sustainable stocks, and resolved next time not to forget to ask!
The service was good and attentive, our waiter was able to deal with any querries we had about dishes and was knowledgable on the winelist, and indeed we enjoyed the bottle he recommeneded us. The bar is lovely and the cocktails were delicious. We were kept slightly longer than we wished waiting for our bill but, really that wasnt a problem. The bill for three, two courses, bottles of wine and water, aswell as four drinks in the bar was a shade over a hundred and twenty pounds which is not unreasonable bearing in mind our enjoyment of the food and the good service. My girlfriend has been five times, her mother four. Its easy to be good once, but to continue to maintain a high level of service and food is difficult, and I feel Locale does this. I look forward to my next visit!