Brace & Browns, Whiteladies Road: Review

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So…after weeks of teasing, the kitchen at Brace & Browns Bar & Kitchen at 43 Whiteladies Road is finally open! The small regular menu, well-priced specials list and apparently great Sunday roasts are incentive enough to head over there…but if you’re planning a visit, I’d definitely recommend that you try the tapas menu…

The venue formerly known as Deasons (and most recently used in Raymond Blanc’s “The Restaurant”) has been given a complete overhaul: it’s a smart yet relaxed bar with comfortable seating, wooden floors, a very well-stocked bar and a fantastic decked terrace area at the front. Let’s just hope we have a decent summer!

Food-wise, the focus of the main menu is very much British “pub grub”: honey roast ham, egg and chips (£7), four varieties of omelette (£6) and three different burgers (£7.50) being included among the options. Specials on the night started at the £5 mark with roasted root veg soup, and beef, pork belly or lamb sandwiches. It all looked amazing…

…but we’d been planning on the tapas menu, so the rest will have to wait till another time!

Tapas dishes are very reasonably priced: one for £3, three for £8, 4 for £10 or all 29 for £60. We’d been told that if we were hungry, we should go for four each…as I’d only had a salad for lunch (and spent the day whinging about it on Twitter!) that sounded like a plan.

The tapas menu has 29 different dishes to choose from, divided into four sections: meat, fish, vegetarian and dessert options. Although predominantly British, there’s also some Italian, Indian, Japanese and Thai influence in there, as you can see below…

It was pretty tough to choose just four dishes each, but we got there in the end. Laura chose exclusively from the “meat” section of the menu – the top board in the picture below. From top left, her board featured the terrine of chicken, salt cured duck breast, Parma ham and blue cheese crostini and the mini Yorkshire. I also went for the terrine (bottom left of the bottom board) as well as, going clockwise, the mini Welsh rarebit, anchovy fritters and smoked chicken.

Portion sizes are more than enough for one hungry person – I think next time I go back I’ll avoid having so many bread-based options! I was very happy with what I chose, though. The chicken terrine was velvety and rich, the saltiness of the anchovy fritters was balanced out by the beetroot dip with with they were served, and the cheese on the rarebit was melted over lovely soft strips of leek. I did enjoy the smoked chicken with tarragon (tarragon appears to be used a lot on the tapas menu!) and apricots, which was blended into a pate-type consistency, but a little disappointed that it was served on toasted bread rather than en croute as the menu stated.

Laura enthused especially about her mini Yorkshire pudding – the roast beef with which it was filled was lovely and pink and “butter-like” in consistency. It was the same Ashdale Farm beef that is served as part of their Sunday roast menu – something else that I’m keen to try. Choose from 21 day matured prime roasted rib of beef, organic pork belly or leg of lamb, supreme of chicken or nut roast, all served with a Yorkshire pudding(!) and a wide selection of vegetables. At £12.50 it’s not the cheapest roast dinner you’ll find in Bristol, but I’ve heard great things already. And if you book for the last Sunday of the month, you’ll be able to toss a coin at the bar for your chance to get your Sunday lunch free…more details on their Facebook page!

A great night, and good to see somewhere new opening at the quieter end of Whiteladies. The food and the venue were both great, and the service we had from David on the night was fantastic. He’s warm, friendly, chatty and obviously very passionate about what he does. From the chat that we had a few weeks back when I went in for a drink, it sounds like it’s taken a lot of hard work (and a few setbacks!) to get Brace & Browns to where it is now, but first impressions are that the hard work’s definitely paid off…

Brace & Browns

Website: http://braceandbrowns.co.uk/

Address: 43 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LS

Find Brace & Browns on the Bristol Bites Directory…

5 Responses to Brace & Browns, Whiteladies Road: Review

  1. Pingback: Brace & Browns now open on Whiteladies Road… « Bristol Bites Blog

  2. Booked a 3 course meal special today… What a dissapointment

  3. Peter & Jane Bendall

    This place is first class – I've had the best Sunday Roast bar none. The array of well cooked vegetables was something to behold. Picture perfect presentation.
    We returned to have tapas the other day and once again it we were wowed! Staff were attentive and friendly.

    • EmilyKnight247

      Their Sunday roast vegetable selections really are fantastic. I've not been for a while – return visit certainly needed!

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