Karen Perrow savours this popular eatery's rustic charm and flavoursome food
Set at the foot of Dartmoor, this café is a dining treasure, with its full-on flavours and menu choice celebrating local, seasonal ingredients and slow-cooking techniques.
Hugely popular during the daytime, the café is transformed into an intimate, candlelit restaurant on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, where diners choose three courses from a set menu that showcases Dartmoor meat and local vegetables. There is one sitting: a 7pm arrival for drinks, with food served at 7.30pm. Attentive and friendly table service make for a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Our starter of lemon and roasted red onion couscous, courgette, feta cheese and cherry tomato salad with orange dressing, accompanied by sourdough with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, proved the perfect opener, packed with zingy flavours and colours.
For the main course, I chose slow-cooked Ashburton beef shin with a beetroot purée and smoked bacon, in a rich red wine jus. Succulent, warming and high in the flavour stakes, there was an added rush of luscious fruit from the sauce.
My friend ordered free-range Devon chicken breast, with local courgettes and carrots and pesto, olive tapenade, and tomato reduction. This concentration of rich flavours offered a real taste of summer. Both dishes were served with new season Kingsbridge roast potatoes, English fine beans and sugar snaps in garlic butter, roasted chantenay carrots, with an orange and mustard glaze – the very best from a seasonal vegetable garden.
Our desserts were creative and decadent. My friend’s chocolate and hazelnut brownie with vanilla ice cream and praline was a rich, dark combination, while my choice – strawberry and clotted cream parfait – was a masterpiece of layered, lightly frozen, creamy tastiness in a glass.
(Taken from the evening set menu)
Three courses: £24.95 per person
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