Serving small, tapas-style dishes, Katherine and Daniel Balanovsky embrace the social side of dining here, encouraging customers to enjoy food with friends and family, try different tastes and explore seasonal flavours. Katherine, our charming host, suggested we try five dishes from the menu (cooked by Head Chef Daniel). I again scored here (being partial to fish) as, being in Brixham, we chose two fish dishes, along with one meat and two vegetarian plates.
Before I get to the food (it will be worth the wait, I promise) I must mention the decor. The well-thought-out interior reflects current trends with brass light fittings, grey paint and wood surrounding the bar and the window to the open kitchen. The bar is stocked with a host of exciting drinks: having been a sommelier, Katherine knows her stuff.
Our dishes arrived one at a time. The meaty, fresh hake came with a serving of homemade potato salad, the creaminess coming from the potatoes and mayonnaise in equal measure. Our other fish dish was the sea bream fillet – its soft texture and delicate flavour was turned up a notch by the punchy, crunchy beetroot and walnut salad. The clever flavour combinations were carried on through the remainder of our plates: chicken thighs were roasted in sweet garlic and thyme, topped with crispy kale; fried polenta chips came with a spicy ketchup, and the tempura cauliflower and broccoli was served with a sweet, sticky chilli sauce.
Our trio of desserts were another hit; some of the stand-out flavours were chocolate, coconut, salted caramel and fudge – an indulgent treat that we enjoyed, along with our locally sourced coffee, blended just for The Lytehouse. Devon producers are highlighted on the menu.
Katherine and Daniel have a wealth of experience and their enjoyment of food and produce shines in their dishes. I thoroughly recommend this restaurant for competent cooking in great surroundings.