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Brighton restaurant legend Ben McKellar still keeps a keen eye on his original eatery – an “utterly reliable local stalwart” that is now reaping the benefits of a major refurb. The once-dark and intimate bistro-style dining room has been opened up, allowing natural light to flood through the front windows. The simple yet stylish interior also incorporates smart wooden tables and leather banquettes. There’s a broadly French slant to the cuisine, tempered by an instinctive understanding of simple, unaffected partnerships. The kitchen makes the most of top-class ingredients, as seen in a starter of asparagus soup with a poached quail’s egg, toasted ciabatta, Old Sussex Cheddar and home-cured lardo. This could be followed by poached halibut with seaweed butter, smoked garlic and lemon purée, morels and wild mushroom velouté or honey-roast quail with truffle polenta chips, peas and pied bleu mushrooms, while dessert might be lemon parfait with buttermilk and Gingerman honey sorbet. Excellent service, reasonably priced wines and a stellar cocktail list help to make this a highly satisfying prospect for locals and weekenders alike.
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