Glassboat, Bristol

Bristol is full of water – not just when it rains (which it does constantly) but due to it’s river and harbours. Theres all sorts of floating establishments, but easily the smartest is Glassboat. It’s an impressive sight with gorgeous floor to ceiling glass windows in its aft section. The menu is very modern European – there’s pressed pig cheeks, pigeon, smoked trout, tuna carpaccio and all manner of other tempting delights.

A starter of scallops, charred romanesco and bayonne ham was very good. The delicate scallops well cooked and perfectly matched with the creamy brassicas and salty ham.

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Pigeon breast ballontine was very neatly done – gamey and rich, offset with the kind of sharp red cabbage coleslaw that’s guarenteed to make your mouth water.

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Beef fillet, jacobs ladder, broad bean puree and truffle was equally good. The contrasting beef is a nice idea and the bean puree was inspired. The truffle butter needed a little more finesse, rock hard and incredibly pungent. I adore truffle and still thought it was a little heavy handed.

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Canon of lamb with sweetbreads, peas and broad beans continued the strong meaty theme.The offal heavenly and light, the fresh green vegetables underlining their delicate flavour.

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Some poached pears with spiced granola were a pleasantly warming finish to the meal and ginger ice cream made a really nice tart accompaniment.

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Lemon parfait with ginger shortbread and meringues showed some excellent pastry work. The parfait nicely set and with a healthy citrusy hit. A very good end to the meal.

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Some ‘feature’ restaurants fail to live up to their surroundings, but Glassboat really do deliver very good food. Sitting out on the water, sipping on a good glass of red wine and watching boats meander past is a great way to spend an evening. The service was prompt and friendly – comfortably dealing with a busy Wednesday night. Definitely worth a visit.

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