Pata Negra, Clare Street: Review

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I’m never going to turn down the offer of a lunchtime meeting over tapas – and that’s exactly what I enjoyed last week. Meeting an acquaintance in Bristol’s city centre, we decided to take advantage of Pata Negra‘s lunchtime offer of 3 tapas dishes for £10.

Tapas bar Pata Negra is one of the many creations of Nathan Lee, who is also behind The Ox, The Milk Thistle and Hyde & Co. Formerly Copper Jacks, the premises on the corner of Clare Street and St Stephen’s Street spans multiple floors. Upstairs, you’ll find cocktail bar and club Noche Negra on the first floor, and a function room on the second floor.

Heading up the kitchen at Pata Negra is Dave Daly, whose career includes stints at Jamie’s Italian, Harvey’s, Bordeaux Quay and the former Three Coqs Brasserie in Clifton.

We sat at the back of the ground floor dining area, passing the multitude of Spanish-inspired pictures adorning the walls and the impressive display cabinet of cured meats behind the well-stocked wood panelled bar. Bench-style seating lines the windows and Chesterfield sofas with old barrels as tables provide seating areas with a difference, while the rest of the room is made up of wooden tables and a cosy booth area at the back of the room. With low lighting and gentle Spanish music in the background, Pata Negra offers an air of formality yet still allows diners and drinkers to feel relaxed.

 

Pata Negra - Interior 1

Pata Negra - Cured Meats

Pata Negra - Interior 2

 

Running from 12-3pm, the lunch menu allows diners to choose three dishes from a set selection, which encompasses dishes for meat eaters, fish lovers and vegetarians alike. The two of us decided to share 6 dishes rather than going for 3 each, enabling us to try more off the menu.

 

Pata Negra - Lunch Menu

 

Our food was beautifully presented, served in a variety of different bowls and boards and in portions that were more than enough for the two of us for lunch. I’ve heard others say that they’ve found the standard menu to be a little on the expensive side – no complaints about the lunch menu here, though.

We loved the patatas bravas: the potatoes crisp and topped with both a rich tomato sauce and an unctuous aioli. The sherry and garlic braised chicken thigh fell apart under the fork, the almost gravy-like sauce mopped up with the bread that accompanied the cured Morcilla Ibérica. To be honest, the Morcilla was the lowest point of the meal: the flavour of the blood sausage was perfect, but it was more gristly than most I’ve tried.

We also ordered the chorizo Ibérico: thick slices of this traditional rich and fatty Spanish sausage, cooked in a cider sauce and served with a perfectly poached egg and a smattering of breadcrumbs. The peppers and Spanish onion stewed in red wine were rich and full of flavour, and we also ordered the beetroot, almond, feta and mint salad, which provided a welcome break from the heavy flavours of the other dishes.

 

Pata Negra - Tapas 1

Pata Negra - Tapas 2

 

When it came to asking for the bill, it was brought over to our table in an old wooden cigar box – another lovely touch.

 

Pata Negra - Cigar Box

 

If you can’t make it for lunch, then head over from 3pm to enjoy 3 pintxos and a glass of Fino for £7, or head over and sample any of the 30 or so dishes that make up their main menu. As you’d expect, you’ll also find a decent sherry and wine list to try – as well as a selection of beers, ciders, soft drinks and cocktails to suit all tastes.

Open from 12pm to 12am, Monday to Saturday, Pata Negra is a place that offers it all: decent food, a good drinks selection and a great atmosphere, all perfectly located in Bristol’s city centre.

 

4 Responses to Pata Negra, Clare Street: Review

  1. Lovely review of a great venue with delicious food. It’s nice to have a venue to go in the centre of town that does it properly and where older adults would not feel out of place going to (although, of course there are a couple of other great tapas bars elsewhere in the city too which also fit that description).

    Does get a tad hot and uncomfortable in there when it’s full of people.

    Ref Dave, which Harvey’s did he work for? The real Michelin-starred one or the current one?

    • I’m not sure re: Harvey’s but will check!

      Yes, definitely the sort of place where everyone would feel comfortable, I agree!

  2. The real one, not the current guise.

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