British, Modern Restaurants in Bristol
1. Clifton Sausage British, Modern restaurant in Bristol 7 Portland St - BS8
“Remaining very popular with locals”, ‘the Sausage’ – a contemporary café serving various types of banger and other meaty British fare – “offers a good selection of food and (in an area where there are not as many good pubs as in the past) has become a haunt for a glass of wine too”. Its Bath sibling shut up shop in late 2018.
2. Casamia British, Modern restaurant in Bristol The General, Lower Guinea St - BS1
“WOW!” – “every mouthful is wonderful and foodgasmic” at the Sanchez-Iglesias family’s “sensational” HQ: a “flawless experience” that has regularly won a place at the top of our list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants. It marries a “stunning, stone-walled venue” on the ground floor of the city-centre’s former General Hospital with “sublime” dishes from a twelve-course tasting menu, with the option of “perfectly matched wine flights”. Getting a reservation is no mean feat though: availability is released on the first Tuesday of each month at noon (UK time) for the period four months in advance! And even fans “dislike being required to pay (non-refundable) in advance at the time of booking”.
3. Bulrush British, Modern restaurant in Bristol 21 Cotham Road South - BS6
Chef-owner George Livesey’s “very adventurous tasting menus” – full of “unusual ingredients and foraged items” – have made this modest-looking, former greengrocers a top star of the Bristol dining scene. Some reporters reckon it’s “a bit of a Marmite restaurant – love it or hate it”, but all are converted by the time they leave, and if some dishes “don’t look appealing on the menu or on the black plates, they certainly taste good”. Service is “friendly and well-informed”, and there’s an “interesting, mainly organic wine list”.
4. Wilson's British, Modern restaurant in Bristol 24 Chandos Rd - BS6
“The most innovative, original and seasonal food in Bristol at the moment” is the claim made by fans of Jan Ostle and Mary Wilson’s Redlands bistro – “a very small place” offering a “reassuringly limited choice of very well-sourced dishes (magnolia blossom and mackerel a surprise and a success) with service that’s charming, enthusiastic and helpful”. At the end of October 2019, the couple announced a further step towards hyper-locality, with new menus incorporating ever-more produce from their own expanding farm.
5. Lido Mediterranean restaurant in Bristol Oakfield Place - BS8
A “quirky”, even “crazy place for a meal” – a “Victorian lido where you sit and watch Bristolians swim lengths in the open air” while you eat behind glass in the former viewing gallery. This “unexpected venue has even more unexpected culinary standards”, serving “rather interesting food with distinctive Mediterranean elements” – a legacy of former Moro chef Freddy Bird, who ran the kitchen here for 10 years – “and service that is friendly rather than professional. The pool and the building are the real stars, though”.
6. Birch British, Modern restaurant in Bristol 47 Raleigh Rd - BS3
“An excellent small independent restaurant in an increasingly trendy part of Bristol” (Southville), which rose to success under former owners Sam Leech & Beccy Massy; now run by (FOH) Tom Masters, who imparts a “lovely warm welcoming feel to the place”, it “offers a varied, innovative, largely vegetarian menu” and the former small plates ethos has remained intact.
7. Adelina Yard British, Modern restaurant in Bristol Queen Quay, Welsh Back - BS1
Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry’s “slightly sparse and understated”, “bare-walled” venue near the docks and Old Town is in its fourth year now, but support shows no sign of slacking off. Its imaginative tasting menus deliver “very interesting blends of tastes and textures” and results are “excellent”.
8. Root Vegetarian restaurant in Bristol Wapping Wharf - BS1
“A harbourside container in the docks” makes for a suitably hipster location for Rob Howell and his partner Megan Oakley’s “unpretentious and fun” two-year-old. It serves a small plates menu that’s “heavily veg-based” and dishes are “interesting and delicious… without being ridiculous”.
9. riverstation British, Modern restaurant in Bristol The Grove - BS1
“A privileged location” on the harbour is part of the draw at this “modern but mature” operation in a striking looking former river police station (nowadays owned by Youngs). As of a big 2018 refit, “its Pontoon Bar, with its lovely view of the docks, has become a brunch/lunch favourite” owing to its “good choice of food” (and somewhat atoning for the loss of Bordeaux Quay, RIP). Upstairs, in the airy restaurant (with balcony), the performance is “pleasant but unexciting”.
10. 1766 Bar & Kitchen British, Modern restaurant in Bristol King Street - BS1
“Better food than expected” is to be discovered in this striking, light-filled (perhaps “noisy”) space – part of the recent £25m renovation of the UK’s oldest theatre, dating back to, er, see if you can guess. Open all day until an hour after the last evening performance, it aims to be a community hub, serving a menu devised by head chef Coco Barone (ex-Glassboat and Rosemarino). There are also pre-theatre deals, obvs.
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