My Return to Core by Clare Smyth

It was once again a pleasure to be back at Core and experience another truly outstanding afternoon of amazing food , wine , excellent service as well as fabulous cocktails in the bar. This was our eighth visit and just like our previous visits we were well and truly catered for which is no surprise as this is a restaurant who’s hospitality of the highest order from the moment you arrive until the time you depart.

When we arrived on Saturday we received another delightful welcome from Marion who is so friendly that you feel nice & relaxed straight away. We decided just like our previous visits to sit at the bar and enjoy another one of the fabulous cocktails from Head Barman Ale. This time I had the pleasure of sampling another new creation a Mezcal & Strawberry which was a lighter & refreshing take on a Negroni. My wife decided to go for the Gin & Pickle as she enjoyed it so much the last time. While enjoying our cocktails it was nice to have a catch up with Rob & Davide.

Mezcal & Strawberry

Gin & Pickle

Once we finished our cocktails it was time to move into the restaurant but not before receiving a welcoming wave from Clare in the kitchen and saying a quick hello to some other members of staff. We were seated in the far left corner in one of the two booths giving you a great view of the whole dining area. We were presented with the menu which consists of two tasting menus & a la carte. It was at this time that Rob came over and knowing what we’d had previously suggested that we could swap a dish from one of the other menus plus he also offered us an opportunity of a surprise course in exchange for another one of the dishes we’ve had before and therefore creating us a Tasting Menu menu full of new dishes. This was a fantastic gesture and one we were delighted to accept.

Before we started we got to enjoy some amazing snacks which included the ever popular Core Fried Chicken & Duck Wings. These were followed by our first course which was brought to the table by young chef George. It was a Scottish Langoustine with Wasabi Pea , Rose Geranium & Almond that was simply a work of art and tasted amazing.

Snacks

Scottish Langoustine

Our next course was the surprise and we were very honoured to be the first people to try it. The dish was Clare’s take on Cheese & Onion which was a Roscoff Onion & Five Year Old Davidstow Cheddar accompanied by Cheese & Onion Brioche Rolls and was truly a delight. This dish was followed by a fabulous Roasted Monkfish with Morecombe Bay Shrimps , Swiss Chard & Brown Butter.

Roscoff Onion & Davidstow Cheddar

Cheese & Onion Brioche Rolls

Roasted Monkfish

These dishes were perfectly matched by another amazing wine selection by sommelier Gareth. His choice this time was a Barnes Buecher 2015 Rosenberg Alsace which although was aromatic & floral it was still very fresh tasting on the palate

Barnes Buecher 2015 Rosenberg Alsace

Next to come was the Jerusalem Artichoke , Confit in Butter with Malt , Mushroom & Cheddar. This led us perfectly on to the main course of Lamb , Hogget & Mutton with Celtuce , Savoury & Black Cardamom. This dish was absolutely fantastic and definitely the highlight of the menu just as any main course should be.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Lamb , Hogget & Mutton

Before dessert we decided to have the Cheese Course which consisted of three cheeses the Colton Stilton Basset , Davidstow Cheddar & a light Goats Cheese. These were accompanied by the best Fig Rolls ever along with Crackers , Raisins , Pickle & Jelly.

Cheese

Fig Rolls

It was now time for desserts which started with the pre dessert The Other Carrot. This led us to the main dessert and one of the best you will ever have. It’s the Core Teaser which is a take on the Malteaser and is a dessert lovers dream.

The Other Carrot

The Core Teaser

We finished with Coffee & Petit Fours to round off another outstanding lunch. It really is an absolute pleasure to visit Core and I would highly recommend that everyone should come and have the experience at least once. The food inspired by Clare & Jonny is amazing which is matched by excellent wine selections from Gareth and his team of sommeliers. The service led by Rob , Davide , Tiago & Millie is first class and it’s always a pleasure to have a chat with them throughout our lunch. Before we set of for home we decided to head back to the bar and enjoy another of Ale’s cocktails and one of my favourites the Cognac & Prunes. On the way it was nice to stop and have a chat with head chef Jonny & sous chef Antonio. This then brought an end to another fantastic afternoon at Core and one that I can’t wait to repeat in October.

A big Thank You to Clare , Jonny , Rob and the rest of the team.

Cognac & Prunes

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