There is something alluring about the tucked away entrance to Taylor’s Restaurant on the Quay in Dartmouth. Its narrow staircase leads to a beautiful, elevated restaurant with harbourside views. Here, diners are met with an attractive, plush decor of padded furnishings, mirrors and wall hangings, complete with twinkling lights, flowers and soft music.
While relaxing into the stylish surroundings, I chose a spaghetti marinara for my starter. The clams, prawns and mussels were served in a sauce made from fresh tomatoes, which had a velvety texture. Crunchy garlic toast was the ideal accompaniment for my partner’s choice of crab thermidor – creamy and divinely rich.
He followed with confit of duck with wild cherry and apple sauce, dauphinoise potatoes and honey-roasted vegetables. The meat fell off the bone and came with a crisp, crunchy skin. I opted for pan-seared calves’ liver with a sage and red wine gravy. This tender, flavoursome meat was served with the crispiest fried onions, pancetta and mashed potato. We shared a delicious side dish of creamed leeks and bacon.
My homemade dessert of poached pears in Muscat Beaumes de Venise, made with creamy Italian Zabaglione ice cream and fig coulis, was light and elegant. The warm toffee treacle tart with pouring cream enjoyed by my partner was golden sweet.
Our hosts, Pauline Shapland and Peter Shaw, have been running Taylor’s for 20 years. They chatted warmly with their customers, and clearly have a passion for cooking and food which they love sharing with others. We had a top experience and vowed to return soon.