February 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of my eating adventures and, as ever, I'm excited about what the coming months will bring for us foodies! In case this is your first visit (if not, welcome back), I'm a 30-something female with a very healthy appetite!...I promise to share with you my experience of each restaurant, café or bar in which I set foot...so, let's go out!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

No. 4 Clifton Village…Revisited

Date and Time: Thursday 10 April 2014, 19:00
Name of Establishment: No. 4 Clifton Village*
Location: Rodney Place, Clifton
Reason for Visit: A refurb' which prompted a return-visit.
A chilly reception?
Set within the timeless composure of an authentic Georgian mansion, No. 4 Clifton Village restaurant and bar is part of an independently owned and operated venue which includes the Rodney Hotel. Having initially visited this award-winning venue back in August 2012 and writing what can only be described as a glowing report, I was interested to learn of the restaurant’s ‘total refurbishment’; accepting an invitation to re-run the fun in order to experience their shiny, new space. The thing is, although the décor was decidedly improved; having retained its original elegance yet brightening the overall ambiance with funky wallpaper and a focal light fitting, this had no bearing on the all-important culinary aspect; the fare proving a comparable standard to that of my previous visit and the menu almost identical in terms of its content. Subsequently, you can consider both the positive and the negative implications of this finding whereby all my original plus-points apply (locally-sourced ingredients; check, quality not quantity in terms of the menu’s content; check, expertly-executed dishes which were both well-presented and delicious; check and check) and yet on the other hand, noting the lack of imagination applied to refreshing the menu from season to season. I mean – I distinctly remember ordering the glazed Chantenay carrots alongside the breast of chicken prior to this visit which, available again a good 20 months later, seemed to indicate that the next transformation of this venue should perhaps include the menu!
That light-bulb moment...
Back to the evening at hand and although the bar area was familiarly well-stocked, it was not quite as inviting as the scatter cushions and sporadically-arranged seating had proven beforehand. Instead, an angular lay-out and cold colour-scheme had created an almost clinical essence which was, without doubt, a far cry from what had existed previously and, I felt, not particularly in keeping with the vibrant hues at-large in the dining room. The service however, had vastly improved whereby a friendly, happy-to-help attitude remained intact throughout the course of the evening.
In the restaurant, I decided upon the fillet of cod (£13.50) which, beautifully plated, was fresh and succulent. The lemon and thyme crumble was an inventive topping; bitter-sweet on the palate and therefore suitably contrasting the fish both in terms of texture and taste. That said, there were a couple of surprise elements to the dish given that the garden peas billed to accompany the main event were nowhere to be seen and in their place, a sporadic dollop of what tasted a little like parsnip purée – an addition which, to be fair, didn’t really enhance what was otherwise an appetising and visually appealing plate of food. The chocolate torte (£5.95) was also well-received, though again, different in the flesh than detailed on the menu. This had been drizzled with a tart orange syrup (as promised) yet in the place of the Chantilly cream sat a mixed berry compote which really didn’t compliment the ensemble at all and even once the dish had been flourished with a quenelle of cream (at my request), the berries remained untouched which seemed rather a shame.
Berry delicious
Overall, the most valuable revision, in my view at least, was the introduction of the Monday-Thursday money-savers. The ‘special occasion’ remit which I had previously applied to this establishment challenged somewhat by the likes of ‘2 for £10 Tuesday’; which denotes two courses for a tenner and ‘Thirsty Thursday’; whereby every main course purchased can be washed down with a complimentary glass of Prosecco – great news for the penny-pinchers amongst us, present company included! All in all, those at the helm of this refresh have succeeded in making this a brighter, more affordable venue for everyday dining and yet, to determine repeat-custom, I’d suggest considerably varying the dishes available on a regular basis...Surely adhering to a Modern European theme has so much more to give?!
Affordable eating

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