Recommendations from friends about Deal's new eaterie and bar had me visiting here three times in a week - once for Saturday dinner, once for Sunday lunchtime drinks accompanied by jazz and for a mid-week tapas so I can safely review all three! The restaurant area is sensibly to the side of the 'lounge bar' area and although it wasn't busy for a Saturday night the atmosphere was nice. Two starters of goat's cheese salad followed by chicken (sounds boring but it was tasty and beautifully presented!) and venison. These came with a communal dish of red cabbage, carrots and potatoes which was just the right portion size - I personally hate huge side dishes of big vegetables. This was all washed down with a very acceptable bottle of white wine (about £14). I can't comment on the desserts as we didn't have any but I am sure they are just as good. A tiny gripe might be that the price of the main courses is a little on the dear side - the lowest being £11.95 - but perhaps this sounds mean. The service by the two girls was professional, attentive and friendly and we were asked a couple of times if all was well with no pressure put on us to leave after we had finished eating.
Next day was drinks at lunchtime and a tapas plate of chorizo and prosciutto. Again, not as busy as one would expect but still a nice feel about the place with lovely owner Brian on drums in the jazz band.
Mid-week glass of wine and tapas of chorizo on salad (my favourite of all the tapas dishes here), Italian cheese with quince jelly, more prosciutto, patatas bravas and bread and a nice oily mayonnise. Lovely! All the tapas dishes - which are served both at lunchtimes and in the evening if you don't want a full meal - are on average just under a fiver.
I really hope the place takes off with its appeal to the slightly older Deal drinkers and eaters. The 'drinking' area has a nice boutique hotel feel about it with its bright red chairs, sofas and bar stools and provides a great meeting place for the more 'grown-up' customer (though any legal age drinker is welcome of course!) and cocktail lovers.I am pleased that Brian and his wife are up and running again - locals will remember them from the Deal Hoy. It's nice to hear from female friends that women going there on their own do not feel at all uncomfortable.
Live music (not always jazz) is on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. There is also a two-choice Sunday roast menu - either pork or beef were on offer when we were there - for £8.95. There is currently a Christmas menu of around £24 and a New Year's event at £20 a ticket in advance which includes music from two bands and a buffet.
One suggestion? That a competitively-priced lunchtime menu is introduced in line with some other Deal eateries to encourage both locals and visitors there during the week.
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