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While it is sad that the longstanding Bristol institution Culinaria has now closed – Stephen and Judy Markwick, who had been at the helm for eight years, having now retired – it is great to see that the property has been given a new lease of life so quickly in the form of Wilks Restaurant.

New owners James Wilkins and Christine Vayssade have taken over the premises – the first restaurant that they have owned – with a view to offering “creative, accomplished cooking at affordable prices”.

James and Christine are aiming to keep their menu as local as possible in terms of the produce that they use, with the current menu including the likes of River Exe mussels, West Country cheeses and Laverstoke Park Farm buffalo mozzarella. Breads are baked daily, and they’re using ingredients such as cream and butter sparingly, meaning that it’s a good option for health-conscious diners.

Dishes on the menu are from British ingredients with a Mediterranean twist: expect to enjoy options such as a lobster & langoustine bisque (£8), duck breast with barley, apricot & fresh almond (£16) and fresh black figs & compote with orange panna cotta and thyme iced cream (£7).

Wilks also offer an early dinner deal of 2 courses for £16 or 3 for £19 between 6 and 6.45pm and Sunday lunches, served between 12 and 4pm, alongside a small lunch menu.

In the spirit of Culinaria, Wilks are also offering a “Food for home” range, meaning that you can pick up a range of freshly made dishes for your fridge, freezer or dinner party. They are also an off licence, and so can sell wines and beers (or fruit juice) to take away to enjoy with your meal.

The menu and concept look fantastic, and apparently the restaurant has been busy since their opening night on August 22nd – think I may need to pay them a visit soon…


Find Wilks Restaurant on the Bristol Bites Directory…

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