Don’t mistake this place for a gimmick. You might think that British food and tapas are incongruous meal partners. But they are not.
What is both surprising and charming about this place is the clear love and enthusiasm there is for quality, locally sourced, organic produce.
Many of the ingredients in this fine-dining restaurant are foraged: they can be seen in pickle jars behind the long, cozy and intriguingly stocked bar at Bridge Street Restaurant.
It has a cosy, modern yet classic decor, with artwork on the walls reminiscent of freshly picked vegetables making their way enticingly into the first drink of the night.
A forest vermouth with a delicately dried orange slice and a sprig of rosemary. A delicious fall alternative to the usual G&T.
Ingredients on the menu are sourced locally from the incredibly enthusiastic and expert restaurateur Patrick Vaughan-Fowler and head chef Sam May.
And while the food is exceptional, served in generous tapas portions and with a variety and quality of ingredients and flavours, the wine list is to die for.
It has more than 70 specially selected natural and sustainable wines, of which Patrick has an encyclopedic knowledge of both their origin and the weight, legs and body of the glass suitable to accompany food.
The menu is fascinating and attractive.
Dishes are presented with the flair and elegance of fine dining, but with decent enough portions to satisfy.
In fact, they suggest that two each is enough. But the eyes bigger than the stomach rule when there is a tempting and unusual menu.
A stack of wild mushroom croquettes (£3.70) arrives, accompanied by marinated and pickled vegetables (£6).
In typical tapas fashion, the dishes do not arrive in order and they are all big enough to share…which is really the point, and makes for a sociable dinner, especially when a quick action with the fork is needed to get the last bite. leaf.
The surprise of the evening was Bromham’s farmhouse fennel stew, carefully culled from the myriad of vegetarian options, with the addition of Devon lard and a delicious deep orange sauce (£7). That put my fork-stabbing partner in the prime of her game.
This was really delicious and I will try to copy the idea at home.
And it was a perfect accompaniment to the Devon Crab Hash, Chilli, Lemon dish (£9.50). The lemon mayonnaise packed a punch and provided a perfect complement to the crab cake.
The wild mushroom dish and fried venison cubes on the specials were outstanding. And whatever the dishes were in front of us, all the flavors and textures worked well with each other.
This is genuinely good cooking and the chef has an amazing palate to make all those different ingredients sing.
It’s a fun menu, too – the Double Chocolate Mousse dessert (£6.50) even had foraged mushrooms and surprisingly, it really works as a combo.
The owners say the focus is on “sustainable and seasonal British tapas” and that the “new dining concept celebrates the incredible food of producers and farmers across the British Isles”.
Small plates and sharing platters start from £3.50 and desserts from £7.
Once again, this is a classy place. The decoration is simple, fresh and it is comfortable, ambient and pleasant to sit. The downstairs restaurant bar invites diners to eat at the bar, which is decorated with unusual bottles of tempting tinctures and, of course, glass jars of pickled and foraged vegetables. There is also a wine bar upstairs.
Both are worth a visit and it is a real treat. Just be sure to practice your fork-sticking skills. You will want to slide the last bit onto the plate.
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goat on the roof
1 Bridge Street, Newbury RG14 5BE
Telephone: (01635) 580015
To book: goatontheroof.co.uk