“A fine example of a chef/patron restaurant” this well-liked seafood stalwart has the kind of warmth you might associate with a bedded-in eatery on an Italian backstreet – not a Devon waterfront. The interior, like the exterior, is bright and welcoming, as are the staff, who have been praised for being “equally welcoming to young and old alike”.
Proprietor Mitch Tonks has positioned himself as the natural successor to Rick Stein’s crown in the West Country, and he certainly knows all about “supremely fresh, brilliantly cooked fish”. An acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Tonks is as dedicated to providing the very best produce cooked to perfection each and every day at his Dartmouth quayside restaurant, which makes dining there a pleasure every time.
Much of the daily catch comes from nearby Brixham, and the kitchen treats its seasonal haul with due respect: scallops are roasted in the shell with white port and garlic; turbot is dressed simply with olive oil and lemon; John Dory is partnered by braised courgette, lemon and basil. Elsewhere, lemon sole, langoustines and red mullet are grilled over the fire, along with prime beef ribs and veal. In addition to the array of fresh seafood, the kitchen takes deliveries each week from markets in Milan and Paris, bringing produce such as baby artichokes from Brittany, Burrata from Andria in Puglia and Heirloom tomatoes grown in the UK.
Italy dominates when it comes to desserts such as scroppino (a frozen dessert-like cocktail), zabaglione and affogato espresso. The £20 three-course ‘locals menu’, available at lunchtimes and early evening, offers terrific value, and the extensive fish-friendly wine list vigorously supports European vineyards. A few fine wines are available by the glass, for special occasions, and a good selection of cocktails, softs and spirits, including Joe’s Gin which is distilled on-site.