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I went to Casamia in Westbury on Trym for the first time. We had the tasting menu which was very enjoyable. Amongst nine there were four dishes that were amazing and one faliure.

The stars: Beetroot risotto, iced yogurt, pistachio and pickled fennel; salmon cooked sous vide, confit of fennel, Jerusalem artichoke puree and wild mushrooms; apple and turnip risotto. Go there, have these - the latter would be ideal as a pudding course. Or have the pear and bay ice cream for pudding - pear jelly, pear puree, dried pear and roasted (I think) pear with bay ice cream.

The faliure: White chocolate drink with fennel foam with a square of white chocolate and chopped black olives. Actually the drink was OK, the fennel added something interesting to the white chocolate. The square of white chocolate and black olives was nasty, just tasted of oversweet white chocolate.

Other dishes of note: Roast lamb, mirpois of Mediterranean vegetables, roast salsify, salsify puree, pine nuts, grated Parmesan and pesto - interesting but a bit busy; pigeon breast with coffee and caramelized almonds - I don't think coffee entirely works as a sauce.

The other two dishes were a deconstructed tirimasu (light coffee sponge with a marscapone cream) and an intense dark chocolate brownie thing with beetroot ice cream.

In the end I realised that the menu was too pudding heavy for me - which I suspected would be the case but I haven't had a tasting menu for ages and I think they should be encouraged.

What else to say? Service great, atmosphere great, timing excellent, portion size perfectly judged, home made bread and everything beautifully presented. Only criticism - the wine flight. £30 per head, two wines, two sherries, three dessert wines but all served in half measures which felt really mean especially with the two wines - we couldn't make the half glass of red last until the lamb arrived and had to order an extra glass each. Meaner still in that the wine was nice but not particularly special (the extra glass of red was £6 each - a serviceable Dolcetta d'Alba). For the £72 we spent we could have ordered a bottle of something really good and a couple of (full measure) glasses of dessert wine.

Overall the tasting menu is a pudding lovers dream and the wine flight is poor value, so next time it'll be the A La Carte and a wine worthy of the food.

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I went to Casamia in Westbury on Trym for the first time. We had the tasting menu which was very enjoyable. Amongst nine there were four dishes that were amazing and one faliure.

The stars: Beetroot risotto, iced yogurt, pistachio and pickled fennel; salmon cooked sous vide, confit of fennel, Jerusalem artichoke puree and wild mushrooms; apple and turnip risotto. Go there, have these - the latter would be ideal as a pudding course. Or have the pear and bay ice cream for pudding - pear jelly, pear puree, dried pear and roasted (I think) pear with bay ice cream.

The faliure: White chocolate drink with fennel foam with a square of white chocolate and chopped black olives. Actually the drink was OK, the fennel added something interesting to the white chocolate. The square of white chocolate and black olives was nasty, just tasted of oversweet white chocolate.

Other dishes of note: Roast lamb, mirpois of Mediterranean vegetables, roast salsify, salsify puree, pine nuts, grated Parmesan and pesto - interesting but a bit busy; pigeon breast  with coffee and caramelized almonds - I don't think coffee entirely works as a sauce.

The other two dishes were a deconstructed tirimasu (light coffee sponge with a marscapone cream) and an intense dark chocolate brownie thing with beetroot ice cream.

In the end I realised that the menu was too pudding heavy for me - which I suspected would be the case but I haven't had a tasting menu for ages and I think they should be encouraged.

What else to say? Service great, atmosphere great, timing excellent, portion size perfectly judged, home made bread and everything beautifully presented. Only criticism - the wine flight. £30 per head, two wines, two sherries, three dessert wines but all served in half measures which felt really mean especially  with the two wines - we couldn't make the half glass of red last until the lamb arrived and had to order an extra glass each. Meaner still in that the wine was nice but not particularly special (the extra glass of red was £6 each - a serviceable Dolcetta d'Alba). For the £72 we spent we could have ordered a bottle of something really good and a couple of (full measure) glasses of dessert wine.

Overall the tasting menu is a pudding lovers dream and the wine flight is poor value, so next time it'll be the A La Carte and a wine worthy of the food.

Lots of flavour repeats for a tasting menu, fennel 3 times coffee twice plus coffee for afters, not so sure i d enjoy that!!

Just seen and beetroot twice

Edited by LizzyWizzy (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Adding another request for Bath suggestions...travelling from Princeton New Jersey, US with my very un-traveled father to see my son who is spending a semester abroad at at Univ of Westminster...would like to show both of them the English Countryside and feel Bath is a good choice for diversity and distance...a charming meal to top a charming visit would be great...traditional pub food is fine, just looking for atmosphere and well prepared food.

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I am a resident of Bath and find it a bit tricky to recommend restaurants. There is a lot of choice but most of them are simply OK rather than great.

For pubs: my solid dependable option is The White Hart in Widcombe (just at the back of the station), it is good if not spectaculars, with lots of fresh seasonal specials. The King William (London Road) is pretty good, I ate my best pub meal in Bath here, but had less success more recently. The Garricks Head (behind the theatre) which is OK, but the service was a bit dippy. Close by is The Gasgoyne opposite the theatre) which has quite a good restaurant upstairs, it is trendy so can fill up with parties of young people, although the food is fine. One I have yet to try is The Richmond Arms (Richmond Place), it won best dining competition in the local style magazine, if you are heading to Lansdowne Crescent this isn't much further but is a hike from town. Most pubs need a booking - given the lack of quality most locals will book a few days in advance to secure a table.

Freckles, pleasant restaurants are even more tricky, the one we return to the most is Casanis (Saville Row), it produces reasonable provencal food in a nice setting near the centre of town. The Olive Tree has a good reputation but we have yet to try it. The best is The Bath Priory but that is Michelin starred, the menu was a bit weird, but a change of executive chef (to Michael Caines), with the UK Masterchef winner (from 2008) James Nathan will also be in the kitchen so it will be the one to watch. Finally The Dower House in the Royal Cresent may be one to try but I have only sampled the food at a festival rather than eaten there - it was good. I will update the list as we try more.

Edited by PhilD (log)
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  • 4 months later...
In my search for a lunch venue in or near Bristol in a few weeks time two restaurants not mentioned above get good reports elsewhere:

Ronnies in Thornbury, and

Casamia in Westbury-on-Trym

Does anyone have any experience of either?

I went to Ronnie's http://www.ronnies-restaurant.co.uk/index.php for lunch last week. It turned out to be a very good choice.

His Market Menu (4 choices per course. Available except Fri and Sat dinner) is competitively priced at £13.75 for 2 courses or £16.75 for 3 with a current bonus of a free glass of wine.

My mussels chowder starter was thick and wholesome. Grilled venison steak was served with crusted root vegetables, orange and cranberry compote with a thyme jus and along with my bread and butter pud was packed with flavour.

Bread was fresh from the oven.

Service was spot on from the waiter and restaurant manager. Ronnie came and chatted at the end of my meal. He came across as a chef who cares a lot about both his cooking and customers.

I've clocked up more than fifty lunches around the UK during the past 18 months or so. This is definitely in the frame for the best QPR.

I was pleased to read that Ronnie's has been recognised bigtime by being voted Restaurant of the year 2009 by the GFG.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Visited the Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay (just south of Bath) for dinner last night and it was very good. Last year they had a Michelin star rising, but failed to get the elevation this year. IMO I thought it went to their heads and they started to try too hard, the food became too complex and didn't suite the place, possibly why they failed to qualify.

The food is now simpler, but with the complexity and technique that raises the Wheatsheaf above normal gastro-pub fare. Breads included a black pudding roll and tomato and olive rolls as well as standard white and granary (all home made). I started with Quail, which came with a confit sausage, a breast/leg, and a poached egg on toast. Main was fillet of pork, smoked pork and rillettes with various purees and vegetables. For dessert an Eton mess with gooseberry.

The pub has great gardens overlooking the valley and a good wine list plus food Butcombe on draught. An ideal spot on a warm summer evening; if summer ever returns..!

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I thoroughly recommend Casamia - Bristol's only michelin starred restaurant. I visited earlier this month for their tasting menu and loved it. Highlights were hot/cold gin foam, salmon poached in olive oil, beetreet risotto and deconstructed tiramisu. I believe they have just changed their menus and now offer only two tatsing menus and no a la carte. Definitely in Bristol's top five

http://www.casamiarestaurant.co.uk/

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  • 1 month later...

We will be going to Bristol this weekend, somewhere that I used to live many years ago but have not visited for twenty years, have been reading this thread for inspiration.

Casamia sound good, as does the Albion Pub & Dining Rooms, has anyone visited recently? Has anyone got recommendations for seafood and/or tapas restaurants in the Bristol area?

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We will be going to Bristol this weekend, somewhere that I used to live many years ago but have not visited for twenty years, have been reading this thread for inspiration.

Casamia sound good, as does the Albion Pub & Dining Rooms, has anyone visited recently? Has anyone got recommendations for seafood and/or tapas restaurants in the Bristol area?

Last meal at Casamia was in June and it was good, probably better than previous visits.

The Albion had really good whole crab on the menu approx a year ago....that may meet the seafood need.

My Bristol colleague recommends "Loch Fyne" for seafood, sorry I can't do better than that.

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Bell's Diner gets my vote. Went there last week and had the 3 course bistro menu with amuse for 16.50 and would have been happy paying twice as much. I had been to the place two years ago, and the recent meal was vastly superior. Don't think the bistro menu is available over the weekends, but still.

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  • 2 months later...

^^^

Argh, totally forgot to report back on my meal! Well, it was very good anyway!

Just wanted to share my top tip for lunchtimes in Bath. Arabesque is a little Lebanese place in the top floor of The Podium Shopping Centre. They have a fantastic lunchtime buffet (only £6.95 for unlimited hogging!) of hot and cold dishe, plenty for veggies and meat eaters alike. I'm pretty sure the buffet is always the same, but it's so good I don't think you'll mind. Be sure to eat plenty of the fried cauliflower because it is divine! Also, it's not on the buffet menu, but you may want to save room to get a plate of mixed Lebanese sweets and some arabic coffee to round you off.

Whilst you're in Bath, stop off at Minerva Chocolate (right by the Abbey) for a cup of thick, rich hot chocolate or tea and one of their fabulous cakes or selection of chocolates. Indulgent, but delicious!

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  • 10 months later...

I'm spending a few days in Bristol and Bath next week - any current recommendations? Trying to go fairly cheaply, so if there is anywhere special that offers a good lunch deal, I'd be interested. Might push the boat out one evening though. I'll be alone too, so any suggestions for places that a a bit more solo diner friendly would be welcome!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I went to Sands, a Lebanese restaurant, when I was in Bristol overnight recently. I got takeaway, and ate it in my B&B room (not as sad as it sounds - it was a lovely room with a table and a view over the gorge), but they were friendly and I'm sure it would be fine for solo dining. The food was pretty good and not expensive. It's between the city centre and Clifton.

95 Queens Rd, Clifton, BS8 1LW

Tel: 0117 973 9734, web: www.sandsrestaurant.co.uk

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Gordon Ramsay (or shall I say his staff?) chose Casamia in Bristol as one of the top two Italian restaurants in the UK.. for his latest programme searching for the best restaurant, period. Casamia won out over a London restaurant. I don't particularly put any credence into what Ramsay ever says or does but the food looked inventive and interesting.

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I saw that program, can't say that Casamia really took my fancy, and I just had a look at their website and found it highly annoying (bad design, pretencious sounding menu, and they spelled risotto incorrectly!).

Maybe I should go just to avoid judging them unfairly though.

Also, having a prix fixe menu, with two main course options, where one of them has a £10 supplement winds me up as well.

Carl

Edited by Carlovski (log)

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Turned out to not be a particulary gastronomic trip! One recommendation is to have a wander around St Nicholas' Market though. Really good, wish we had something like it in Southampton. Mix of produce stalls and small independant eateries (Plus a pieminster outpost!). Morrocan, Portugese, Carribean etc. I ate in 'Spice up your life' which works a bit like the curry cafes you find in the northern quarter in Manchester - a handful of already made dishes along with bhajis etc. Apparently everything is sourced locally and they make the dishes a bit lighter than traditional to make it more suitable for lunch. I had the vegetable dish of the day which was a potato and some sort of fritter yoghurt based dish, along with a lentil dish. Served with plenty of very good pilau and a very freshly made poppadum (Important!). I actually felt quite healthy after eating it, which isn't something I can always say after eating a hearty indian meal. Total cost - £3.90!

The other thing they had there was Source which I am not so sure about. The produce looks good, and if they had one near me I would probably use it, but it's the concept of good food being packaged as a middle class aspirational kind of thing (Like Borough Market). I don't want an 'experience', I just want to buy some cheese and some sausages!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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My experience with "Spice up your life" has been mixed - on some occasions I have found the food rather salty and otherwise pretty bland. The caribbean place is usually spot on though and is always my choice, and my Mum really loves the morrocan place too.

If you're looking for something inexpensive, filling and informal somewhere around the Bristol waterfront, you can't go wrong with something from Falafel King. They have a stand right at Narrow Quay, and the falafels are fresh and really delicious stuffed in a pitta with big piles of their various salads. It's a little pricier than some of the stuff at St Nicks, but really tasty. My friend also swears by the crepe stand on the opposite side - she always goes for a nutella crepe and apparently they are lush! (I wouldn't know, I don't do eggs, but I can tell you that they are made fresh and certainly look tasty).

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Jenni - well it tasted good to me, but based on your blog it's something you know a lot more about than me! Although maybe that means you are a bit more critical than most?

The Moroccan food did look appealing though, I was even debating trying some, after the curry!

I have never realy got into falafel, despite my liking of most other things chickpea, not even in my brief vegetarian phase. Maybe I have never had a good one?

I did try Arabesque in Bath too - you were right, the roasted cauliflower is fab, as is the courgette dish.I even managed to help them coax in a couple of older ladies who seemed quite baffled by all the dishes, but were willing to give it a go!

I didn't like the falafel though, if they are good ones, then no, I definitely don't like falafel! The vegetable 'stew' (sure there is probably a lebabnese name for it) was poor as well, slightly sloppy okra and some other veg in a nondescript tomato sauce that managed to be watery and gloopy at the same time - an impressive feat. But on the whole, a thumbs up from me, most of the dishes were good, and it's excellent value.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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