Posted On: 3rd Mar 2014
La Barbe is something of a local landmark, having been open for 32 successful years. A Parisian-style bistro with exposed-brick alcoves with rattan screens, crisp tablecloths and a sprig of fresh fl owers on each table, this is a light, airy, informal place to enjoy fine French food. As you might expect, wines are mainly from France – the list features around 80 quality varieties, 12 of which are available by both the glass and bottle.
After much deliberation, I began with a creatively put together starter of plump seared scallops in saffron sauce with chorizo and caulifl ower purée – the combination of delicate scallops, piquant chorizo and creamy caulifl ower purée was an inspired mix of fl avours and textures. Next up was the dish of the day:
beautifully fl aky sea bass with a side of indulgent gratin Dauphinoise. Although other choices, such as pan-fried saddle of venison served with Madeira sauce and sweet potato purée, and calf’s liver with sherry vinegar sauce and red cabbage marmalade, tempted me too. Portions are generous, but be sure
to save room for one of La Barbe’s delectable desserts. I can highly recommend the classic creme brulée and the chestnut and vanilla mille feuille. There is also a choice of carefully selected French cheeses, which are sure to go down well with a glass of Port. With the menu changing every three months, it’s easy to see why La Barbe has so many regulars – and I now firmly count myself among them.