Month: March 2011

Tart After Dark

Portuguese-inspired supper evening: Thursday 14th April

Best known on the Gloucester Road and beyond for its sumptuous cakes and delicious tarts, Tart continues its series of monthly supper evenings with a Portuguese-inspired menu.

Jennie, Ellen and Andrew invite you to join them for a Portuguese-inspired supper evening at Tart on Thursday 14th April. Chef Andrew Griffin has devised a menu bursting with the flavours which combines Mediterranean flavours with the best of local produce.

To start:

Grilled Cornish Sardines, Vine Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs on Sourdough Toast

For vegetarians:
Grilled Marinated Goats Cheese, Vine Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs on Sourdough Toast

To follow:

Cozido a la Portugaise: Chicken, Pork, Sausage & Bean Stew with Saffron, Herbs & Spices

For vegetarians:
Portuguese Bean, Vegetable and Caldo Verde Stew

To finish:

Pasteis De Nata: Oranges in Madeira


Price:
£30 per head including a complimentary drink on arrival

Time:
7.30pm for supper at 8pm

Bookings:
To book, please call 0117 924 7628 or email jennie@lovelytart.com

 

Tart shows off an Italian heart (Review in Evening Post) http://t.co/CxRC3MM.

Love Food Spring Festival


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend I’ll be going to my first Love Food Festival and am really looking forward to it. Here’s some info to let you know what’s going on;

Love Food Presents ‘The Spring Festival 2011’

Brunel’s Old Station, Temple Meads, Bristol,

Saturday 26th – 10.30 – 6.00 and Sunday 27th from 11.00 – 5.00

ENTRY FREE

http://www.lovefoodfestival.com/spring.html

Spring Love!

Wow! With only a couple od days to go until The ‘Love Food Spring Festival’ things are getting very exciting. With some truly exceptional producers, chefs, teachers, writers, entertainers, organisations, artists and musicians coming together with thousands of food loving visitors to celebrate the coming of Spring, the stage is set for a brilliant weekend.

‘‘I urge you all to come along to this event, spend time with your family and friends in this beautiful venue and enjoy some of the wonderful produce we have in the West Country. It’ll be masses of fun for all ages and a great opportunity to come together as a city to be inspired and learn about many of the fantastic resources we have on our doorstep.’’

The Market will be made up of over 70 producers, it’s quite possibly the biggest indoor food market the city has ever seen, with a superb variety of produce for you to enjoy. Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Love Pattiserie, Tyntesfield House, Bristol Cider Shop and Grape & Grind are among the many names attending.

The Cookery School will play host to some fantastic chefs over the two days including Ronnie Faulkner of ‘Ronnies’, Freddie Bird of The Lido & Tom Kneale who’ll be demonstrating some great British food along with some exciting Molecular Gastronomy & some great ‘Food For Free’! Foraging recipes from Sarah Moore. Hands on classes for all ages will teach you how to make pasta, butter, cup cakes and Sushi amongst many other delicious things.

The Picnic area will be the place to rest your feet and catch up with friends and family over some gorgeous local and global street food. With Venison in the vale, Pizza Adorare, Kernow crepes, Tom’s Pies, Spice up your life and Blue Juice looking after you, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The much, loved blend of laid – back grooves will provide the perfect soundtrack whilst straw Bales and bunting will complete the scene!

The Rude Health Rants will take place on each day at 1.00pm and will make for brilliant listening with some very passionate speakers including Arthur Potts Dawson of The Peoples Supermarket, Geoff Sayers of The Well Hung Meat Co. Dr Angela Raffle of Bristol’s Food Policy Council, Phil Haughton of The Better Food Company and Sam Leach of Mark’s Bread

The Taste Theatre will host some fantastic sessions where you’ll be able to learn about pairing food and drink and taste some of the superb produce available. Orchard Pig, The Bristol Beer Factory, Trethowan’s Dairy, Bristol Cider Shop and Rude Health are some of the great names involved.

The Children’s Area is going to be magnificent with a wide range of workshops including bread making with Manna from Devon, gardening with Grow grubby, face painting and food doodling with the fantastic Anorak magazine, who will also be on the lookout for young reporters!

Love Baby and Born will be looking after the youngest visitors with free Baby Bites purees, changing facilities, a Baby Sensory palace, demonstrations, workshops and some fantastic advice about some of the wonderful services available for mums and mums to be in Bristol.

The Garden will be hosted by lovely local growers Glenholme Herbs who will be selling and advising on a huge range of culinary and medicinal herbs and salads for you to get growing with. Victory Gardens will also be on hand to advise you on Spring Planting and growing at home with their fantastic raised beds.

The ‘Love Bike’ area will provide cycling enthusiasts and complete beginners with advice, and inspiration. Hosted by the fantastic Boneshaker magazine. The Bristol Bike Project will also be on hand providing free bike checks and advice.

The Slow Food Taste Adventure room will provide a simple yet fun activity aimed at four to 10 year olds. It encourages children to think about food and takes them on an inspiring journey through five interactive zones, each with a focus on one of the five senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and sound.

The Youth Food Movement will be recruiting members to be part of a very exciting global movement, if you are passionate about food and the environment then come along and find out how you can get involved.

The Princes Trust will be represented by three new businesses, recently set up with the support of The Princes Trust Business Programme. Lorna Knapman, organiser of the event was originally supported by the Trust and has worked as an ambassador on their behalf after being awarded the ‘Enterprise of the year’ award for her success with Love Food Festival. “I am delighted to be able to offer my support to these young businesses and to promote the fantastic work of the Princes Trust”.

 

 

First ‘Full As An Egg’ Supper

Last night saw the launch of the ‘Full As An Egg’ Supper Club and, luckily, I managed to secure a place. Sally, of the ‘Full As An Egg’ food blog, and Tim, Chef/proprietor of Moreish restaurant on Chandos Road have joined forces to share their passion for great food served in an intimate setting. Feeding eight diners at a time in Tim’s beautiful home, on two consecutive nights about once a month, Tim cooks elegant, restaurant-quality fare and Sally is the perfect hostess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were treated to a six-course feast, kicking off with a delicious pre-starter of spicy tomato and coconut soup with coconut and cashew sambal in a little espresso cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up was a perfectly pink and smooth chicken liver parfait topped with a red wine and port jelly and served with pickles and sourdough toast (sourdough made by John Dixon from a 55-year-old rye starter).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fish course was orange cured salmon with avocado and orange salad, avocado puree and orange dressing. I liked the salmon/orange combination, the salmon had a lovely soft texture, and the orange and fennel in the salad were refreshing and light. I’m not a big fan of avocado but the creaminess went well with the salmon and orange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For main course we were served roasted duck breast, shallot tatin, pickled cabbage, shallot puree and spiced jus. Every aspect of this dish was delightfully rich, well-executed and well-matched. Devine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we were treated to two desserts! First of which was a mini roasted rhubarb trifle, complete with popping candy on the top, taking us by surprise somewhat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the incredibly rich chocolate mousse with salt caramel and honeycomb arrived in a neat little jar. This was so delicious I couldn’t stop until it was all gone, even though I was very full by this point. The sweet and silky chocolate and saltiness of the caramel worked brilliantly together and the honeycomb gave a welcome crunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The suggested donation of £25 was great value for such an elegant menu. The experience was much more like eating at a restaurant even though we were seated in an intimate, domestic dining room, the quality of the food was incredibly good.

Go to Sally’s blog ‘Full As An Egg’, link on blogroll on the right, for details of future events.

Mi Casa

The secret, it seems, is out. There have been a few pop-up restaurants ‘popping-up’ in Bristol every now and then in the last couple of years. I have only heard tales of Cloak and Dinner and Secret Service Supper Club, unfortunately being too late to experience them for myself. The new wave of Bristol supper clubs has certainly fed my craving for guerrilla dining recently, there now being lots to choose from. The pop-up restaurant is a slightly different concept in that it is usually more of a one-off and secretive event but much larger than a supper club, taking place in a church hall, dis-used warehouse, scout hut or other such building, rather than in someone’s living/dining room.

Mi Casa pop-up restaurant had its second event on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of February and I was lucky enough to get a place, thanks to a food blogger friend (much more in-the-loop than I) who secured some places early.  The week of the event saw an explosion of publicity hype and so on the day I was buzzing with anticipation. I had no idea where I was going, or who else would be there, which all added to the excitement. It was certainly set to be a highlight in the Bristol foodie’s calender.

I arrived at the Scout hut to find three long communal tables set for approximately forty diners in total. I was sat on a table with other food and drink bloggers/writers/twitter foodies, so it goes without saying we had plenty in common and there was never a dull moment in conversation. The wine flowed and there was a real sense of occasion.

Our host, Kristjan, greeted the crowd of hungry diners by giving a little speech about the ethos behind Mi Casa and what inspired him and Chef, Alexis, to start a pop-up restaurant. The couple met when working together at Riverstation and now work at Rockfish Grill/Bordeaux Quay and Papdeli respectively. The food is similar in style as the aforementioned, as you’d imagine. On this occasion the theme was North African.

The communal dishes arrived at the table for the guests to share. To start, we had a mezze selection consisting of Labneh, sweet potato falafel, lentil salad, carrot, cumin and mint dip, red cabbage, cucumber and almond coleslaw and flatbreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For main course we were served stuffed lamb breast on a bed of saffron and onion potatoes and a cucumber, pomegranate and feta salad and aubergines on the side. The lamb was tender and juicy, really delicious. The juices from the lamb oozed onto the potatoes beneath, making them extra tasty. The salad was cool and refreshing, the sweetness of the pomegranate and creaminess of the feta married beautifully with the rich and flavourful lamb. The aubergine with crispy chick peas, yoghurt and tahini dressing was also very pleasant.

The dessert was poached pear, almond, pistachio and apricot filo tart. The baklava-style tart was light, sticky, sweet and crunchy. The poached pear was a little lack-lustre, although cooked perfectly. The filo tart alone would have been enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

 

 

 

 

 

The meal was finished off with huge boards of Spanish cheese, membrillo and bread to share. A very welcome end to a fantastic meal and a unique dining experience.

The key to the success of the Mi Casa, and other such pop-up experiences, I believe is in the whole package; the sense of occasion, the entertainment, the service and ambience somewhere in between restaurant and dinner party, the sheer scale of organisation and planning it would have taken to achieve, meeting new people, and of course the food sourced, planned, prepared and cooked with passion, expertise and care.

The next event is the weekend of 25th and 26th March which is fully booked. The events should be occurring monthly so get in touch to make sure you don’t miss out.

Email micasapopup@gmail.com.

Mi Casa is on twitter and facebook.

There are other pop-ups coming up too, including Castellano’s All About Pig seven course celebration of pork on the weekend of April 1st and 2nd, which I’ll be attending so watch this space for the review.

A cappella

A cappella is a relaxed and friendly community café on the Wells Road in Totterdown. Very popular with local residents, it also attracts customers from further afield, like myself, by offering freshly and lovingly prepared dishes using great quality ingredients. The café and pizzeria was taken over by Jennifer and Paul Stewart a 4 years ago and has since gone from strength to strength, consistently delivering good food and professional service to their loyal customers. Their passion and 100% commitment to the business shows in everything they do, even down to visiting coffee suppliers to make sure they are sourcing the best beans and flying in special pizza flour from Naples.

The place has a real family and neighbourhood feel; children friendly with a big pile of kids’ toys and books in one corner and a great value childrens menu. Whenever I visit during the day or early evening there are usually some happy looking kids around.

A cappella is a bustling community café during the day serving breakfast and lunch, they also have a large selection of delicious salads and nibbles from the deli counter and mouthwatering array of home baked cakes and desserts. Daily specials include soup, pasta, risotto and ‘simple classic’ dish of the day, plus their menu features the ever-popular lamb and feta burger, and salmon and haddock fishcakes, any of these are well worth a try. There are also paninis, sandwiches and wraps with yummy fillings. There are plenty of vegetarian options.

Homemade, tradtional stone-baked pizza is then served from 5pm, from which time the place adopts a cosy bistro ambience. Byo wine etc. which helps to keep the experience informal and affordable. They offer a huge selection of delicious toppings. They also deliver (to the surrounding areas). Check out the menu on their site below.

184c Wells Road, Totterdown, Bristol, BS4 2AL.

0117 971 3377

email: info@acappellas.co.uk

www.acappellas.co.uk

Open Tuesday-Thursday 9am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-10.30pm.                    Closed Monday and Sunday.