Previously known as The Picture House East, The TownHouse on Clifton’s Whiteladies Road has recently undergone a bit of a transformation. No change to the team at the helm, and much of the menu remains the same, but the rebranding includes a smartening up of the decor, a fantastic canopy to cover the outside seating area in front of the building (complete with twinkling fairy lights!) and big plans for 2012. We recently wrote about the restaurant’s “Pre War Prices” offer that is running until February 10th, but if you don’t manage to make it in for this crazy deal, it’s still worth booking a table for a meal that will prove to be exceptionally good value for money.
The set lunch menu – at £10 for two courses or £13.50 for three – represents fantastic value for money, and with seven starters, seven mains and six desserts to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Dishes are predominantly British-influenced with many classic regional dishes, featuring the likes of bubble and squeak soup, Lancashire hotpot, and apple pie with custard.
I was glad to see that the rare roast beef on hot dripping toast was still available when we visited, as this was something that I loved from the old Picture House East days. On this occasion, however, both my dining companion and I opted for the Stinking Bishop with new potatoes and spring onions (£2.50 supplement), being big fans of the pungent cheese.
Thick cut sauteed rings of new potato were served in a hot pan, topped with a generous slab of the cheese and chopped spring onion. A simple starter, maybe, but delicious: the cheese, when it arrived, was melting just enough to retain its form but still gooey enough to smear over the perfectly cooked potatoes. Lovely.
More sauteed new potatoes for my main, as I wanted to test out the vegetarian option! Attractively presented on a wooden board, my twice baked goats’ cheese souffle was fluffy and creamy, and served with a rich, green pureed spinach sauce in a classic combination of flavours.
My dining companion decided to go for more of a meaty option in the pork belly and black pudding pan haggerty with spring greens. A traditional Northumberland dish, pan haggerty normally sees sliced potatoes, onions and cheese layered, baked like a cake and served in wedges. We were both impressed with the presentation of this version, which layered tender chunks of pork belly, thinly sliced potatoes and black pudding – looking very similar to a slab of pork belly – on a bed of spring greens and a rich gravy. Nothing but positive feedback here.
Too full for dessert, we passed on a third course but were tempted by either the cheese board (£3 supplement) or the cinnamon and nutmeg Cambridge burnt cream, which sounded very wintry!
The Express Lunch menu offers a variety of main meals for just £6 during the day, while the Breakfast & Brunch menu has been rated by people I know, giving diners the option of a full English for under £9, or a range of other meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
If you like your food British, well-executed and at prices that won’t break the bank, it’s worth paying The TownHouse a visit. Their cocktails are pretty good too…
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
Find The TownHouse on the Bristol Bites Directory…