1847 is a vegetarian restaurant located in central Bristol, just off the bustling eatery area of Corn Street. When offered, we couldn't resist tasting their new a la carte menu. The restaurant is completely meat-free and promotes both organic and local food and drinks.
The vast glass windows were a glowing invitation of warmth and food on a wet November evening. The open plan, but intimate restaurant has a fresh and inviting feel. The clean lines of the black and white interior are accented with the bright green of live plants that stretch across the back wall. We were promptly greeted and sat in the window amongst Bristol trendies and office folk alike.
First things first and Lajos (the head waiter) was excited to introduce the new wine menu. We were passionately informed about the origin of the wines and the evolving ethos of the company to stock organic wines from around the world. My eating partner and I made our choices, happy to be influenced by staff knowledge. Between us we chose the Italian Vinuva organic pino grigio and the Portugese Alandra Tinto Alentejo which we enjoyed as we perused the menu.
My dining partner is a strict vegetarian and I rarely eat meat; so for us both an entirely veggie menu was a real treat - and not a goats cheese tart in sight! We were pleased to be presented with a selection of mini eats from the menu so as to really get a taste for what the restaurant is all about. Matty Bowling is the chef who oversees all four 1847 restaurants (Brighton, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham), and his passion for originality of flavours is evident throughout the new menu. Matty is known for being head chef at Brighton's highly successful restaurant Terre a Terre, and having enjoyed his food before, my dining partner assured me we were not going to be disappointed.
To start we enjoyed the maple syrup roasted parsnip, parsnip cream with apple and buckwheat; Sage and lentil croquettes, celeriac puree and winter leaves and a quirky Christmas bread with beetroot and mustard cream. The beautifully presented mini versions of the restaurant starters were balanced in both flavour and texture. A favourite for us both was the roasted parsnip. The dulcet parsnip was deliciously matched with the sharp apple tang and accompanied by the powerfully flavoured parsnip cream. A quirk in the starters was the Christmas bread, which was a heavily spiced dense cake accompanied by a mustard cream and shot through with a flash of beetroot. It tasted delicious and why shouldn't you have a sweet starter? After tasting it we couldn't think of one reason not to!
Main courses swiftly followed and we tried two from the new menu. First we enjoyed the chickpea flatbread, cavolo nero, smoked mushroom, toasted quinoa, yoghurt and chilli. The mushrooms in this dish were divine and on the whole it had a tasty balance of flavoursome fresh greens with the wholesome flatbread. The dish was lacking chilli, however, which would have given it a pleasing kick. The second main that we sampled was spatzle, roast squash fondant, mushrooms and whipped feta. We were a little stumped on the spatzle to begin with, but were delighted to find it to be egg noodles individually shaped by hand. Teamed with smoked mushrooms, a roasted squash puree and whipped feta. This dish packed a punch with a garlic sauce.
To finish we were treated to a trio of mini desserts; apple and cinnamon doughnuts which were accompanied by coconut yoghurt and charred pear, a chocolate and sage sponge with cranberry gel and topped with honeycomb, and finally a salted caramel, chia and maple pudding topped with caramelised bananas and pecans. The selection of desserts was diverse and we were pleased to taste the full range. My preferred pud was the sage sponge, it was an original taste to have in a dessert, topped with a chocolate moose and a hit of berry. My dining partner preferred the salted caramel pudding which was deliciously creamy with the sweet kick of caramelised fruit on top.
Feeling rather as though we had over indulged on such delicious food, we were close to forgo any after dinner beverages, but were convinced otherwise by the lovely Lajos. We both enjoyed a choice from the selection of Tea Bird teas. Tea Birds is a Bristol based company who blend original teas. Following our calming and fruity blends, we were set to roll home while ruminating the evenings sensory overload.
1847 Bristol is a restaurant that offers not just vegetarian food, but local, organic and fresh dishes, in a modern setting in the heart of Bristol. The personable nature of the waiting staff, along with their vast knowledge of the dishes and ingredients used, enables them to convey the passion for food that the company as a whole posses.
For us it was an absolute pleasure not to be eating out and choosing the single veggie option from the menu, but for the staff at 1847, it is about a companies devotion to food as a whole.