‘We are Jan (chef), Mary (co-owner) and Little Robin’ says the bare-bones website – a good fit for this dinky little restaurant in a converted shop on Redland’s Chandos Road. White walls, black floors and vintage vases of flowers reinforce the low-key vibe, but the food on offer is anything but prosaic – as you’d expect from a chef whose CV includes stints at The Clove Club and L’Enclume.
The owners gather, grow or hunt many of the ingredients that feature on their modest weekly changing menu (there’s a choice of a four- or seven-course dinner as well as a Plat Du Jour come lunchtime which is accompanied by a glass of house wine), and the dishes coming out of the tiny kitchen arrive at the table bursting with the flavours of the season. Check the blackboard and you might find the likes of warm Jersey Royals with girolles or a pairing of rock oysters and Exe mussels with cod’s roe and cucumber, ahead of roebuck with beetroot and radicchio or cod accompanied by parsley, snails, pancetta and peas. To round thing off, there’s a choice of two desserts (perhaps English blueberries with crème fraîche and shiso or a quince souffle) or cheese with truffle honey, which you can have as an additional course for £7. The food is bolstered by a modest list of organic and biodynamic wines from small indie producers and there is the option to add a flight to your meal.
Bristol has become a real foodie mecca in recent times, and this is one of our top picks of the area for a comforting meal of dishes that push you just ever so slightly out of your comfort zone without making you feel anxious. Flavours are cleverly paired; service is refreshingly relaxed, and the ambiance is always warm. A must visit if you’re in the area.