Monday 8th July 2013, 17:30Following the success of their branches in Bridport and Weymouth – founders Nikki and Richard Cooper decided to bring pizza, pie and cider - the threesome underpinning The Stable's abundant appeal - to Bristol's bustling harbourside. It's fair to say that the days of Chicago Rock are long gone and with it perhaps even the questionable reputation that once went hand-in-hand with this particular after-dark 'strip'.Instead, snuggled between the quirky presence of No.1 Harbourside and the cultural buzz of The Watershed, The Stable is perfectly situated to bring this once chav-tastic hot spot bang up-to-date.
|If you can't stand the heat...|
Invited to visit on the evening before it opened its doors to the public, I entered this spacious, coolly-decorated space with intrigue – enjoying the upbeat service of 'The Stablehands', the expanse of bench style seating and thoughtful aesthetics, the latter in terms of lighting, style and sound. That said, the halogens overhead did elevate the temperature somewhat, though it's not every day that the great British summer time delivers us such balmy weather, (plus, sitting in front of the theatre-style kitchen really didn't help!)
|The Well-Stocked Bar|
The drinks menu is jam-packed with local ciders – over 60 to be exact - featuring the likes of Lyme Bay, Burrow Hill, Bridge Farm, Orchard Pig and Perry’s. If you can't decide on one, The Stable offers a 'tasting board' of five 1/3 pints for £7.50. To mop up the alcohol consumption, why not indulge in a pizza? Sampling as many slices as I could get my hands on (for research purposes of course), I noted - through piping hot mouthfuls – the stone-baked crispiness of the base which we later discovered constituted organic sough dough. What's more, generously topped, the range features a number of innovative creations; some paying homage to The Stable's new-found residency. Here, the Bristol Blaster combines locally-sourced pork, Naga chillies, garlic, red onion, basil leaves, mushroom, tomato and mozzarella – ark at ee! If you 'prefer a pie' there are several to choose from – the vegetarian option, generously filled with spiced sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach, goat's cheese and plum chutney, catapulting at once to the top of my 'to-dine' list along with the pizza pudding which is decadently slathered with hazelnut, chocolate and mascarpone...say no more right?! Main courses are priced between £8 and £14 which I feel is reasonable in light of the quality and care which comprises each dish. The breakfast/brunch menu also shows promise with an all-you-can-eat toast bar – just grill-iant (see what I did there!?)
Overall, I feel that The Stable will be an asset to the Harbourside – its ethos seems to fit with the city's sense of community as well as the awareness us Bristolians have in regards to the importance of the 'independent' (of homemade, honest and locally-sourced fare). Individual tastes and dietary requirements have been suitably accommodated and a passion for customer satisfaction is reassuringly apparent. I guess I'm saying that The Stable has the opportunity to shine where other establishments have faded into the background (especially within this largely hit and miss segment of the city-centre) – yet, with their three-point appeal and the substance which supports it, I'm almost certain that the brains behind this operation will triumph!
Breakfast/Brunch served between 8:00am and 11:00am
Main menu served between 12:00 noon and 9:30pm
Open ‘til 11:00pm daily
Open ‘til 11:00pm daily