Stockbridge is a veritable hive of trendy bars, cool boutiques and fancy restaurants, so there is some stiff competition for attention down those well maintained streets. The Stockbridge Restaurant stands out by keeping it simple. No gimmicks, no pretence, just good food, good wine and a good atmosphere. Nestled in a basement property on St Stephen Street, look out for the fairy lights leading you in and setting the mood.
We were invited along last week and offered the “Chef’s Choice”. We told them a few foods we don’t eat and how we like our meat cooked but otherwise the choices were left entirely up to the chef, Jason Gallagher. I wouldn’t say I’m a fussy eater, but I’m not particularly adventurous, unlike my dining partner, so I was looking forward to this experience.
I don’t think that bread normally warrants a mention in a restaurant review, but in this case, it does. The bread was freshly baked that morning and tasted delicious, but the real star was the chive and chervil dip that came with it. So fresh and light tasting, it was ideal for whetting our appetite.
This was followed by a perfectly proportioned amuse-bouche of seranno ham, mozzarella and tomato. A classic combination that was much appreciated.
Starters were cod with chips and tartar sauce and scallops with butternut squash puree, apple salsa, walnuts and serrano ham. The fish ‘n’ chips as a starter was a bit of fun but with no compromise on the quality. Soft, flaky fish, crisp batter and well cooked chips, it was better than some I’ve seen served as a main meal. Meanwhile, the scallop dish played into my sweet tooth perfectly. The sweet, plump scallops were well balanced by the tart, crisp apple, chewy walnuts and smooth puree. A definite winner.
For mains, David had the Gressingham duck breast with a duck sausage roll, potato terrine and Savoy cabbage and bacon. As he didn’t say much while he wolfed it down, I think we can take that as a good sign! I did get out of him that the duck was perfectly cooked and that the dish was very flavoursome. He enjoyed the sausage roll, again another playful touch that showed that fine dining should be fun as well as satisfying.
I had the rack of lamb with braised lamb flank, roast potatoes, peas and spinach. I don’t normally eat a lot of lamb, I’ve only had it a handful of times and in fact, I think this was the only time I’ve really enjoyed it. The lamb rack was cooked to medium and was incredibly tender. This was a dish that I wouldn’t have necessarily tried so I’m glad that this was picked for me as it was very tasty – I’m a lamb convert now thanks to Jason!
After all that rich meat, we were given a palette cleanser of a passion fruit sorbet before dessert. Zingy and refreshing, it was exactly what we needed.
For dessert, David was treated to a plum and nut crumble with praline ice cream and vanilla sauce, while I had the banana tart tatin with vanilla ice cream and butter scotch sauce. The caramelised bananas with the cold ice cream and hot sauce was heavenly – like an upmarket banoffee pie. David’s plum crumble was a tasty nod to the upcoming autumnal season and again, went down very well.
I can highly recommend The Stockbridge Restaurant as an exceptional dining experience with a warm atmosphere – perfect for a romantic date night. The hospitality was first class and we were made to feel very welcome by the proprietor, Jane and her team. There are lots of little touches that make it that little bit special including listing their suppliers on the menu and adapting the menu and wine list seasonally. It is an ideal choice for a special occasion or if you just want to treat yourself. Go on, you deserve it!
*Disclaimer – we were invited along to The Stockbridge Restaurant but were not asked to write a positive review. All opinions are our own and reflect our experience.