Toptable recently asked a selection of food bloggers, including me, to list their top five favourite restaurants of 2011.
I found it surprisingly hard to choose, I’ve eaten in so many fantastic places in the past year, but after much tortured soul searching, childish tantrums and hours spent blankly staring at the wall, I managed to finally cobble together a list of the five places I enjoyed eating at the most in the past year. Of course, it’s a very personal thing, I doubt everyone would agree with my choices, feel free to call me a 'know nothing twat' in the comments – but nevertheless, these were my favourites of 2011
Roganic - London
Simon ‘LeEnclume’ Rogan’s short lease, London outpost. Impossibly beautiful, elegant, delicious and interesting food full of unusual foraged ingredients. I had an amazing lunch here and loved it. Book and go sooner rather than later, in case it does actually vanish when the lease runs out!
José Pizarro’s Bermondsey tapas and sherry bar is a gem. Authentic, always busy and full of atmosphere. Serving incredible, fresh, rustic and well priced simple food. Squeeze in, and order a glass of Manzanilla and a plate of Pluma Iberica before working through the rest of the menu. It’s all good.
Pony & Trap – Chew Magna
A recent tasting menu at this Michelin starred pub just outside Bristol blew me away. Chef Josh Eggleton’s small charming old boozer serves beautifully judged seasonal food with a British slant. Easily the best meal I’ve eaten in Bristol and ridiculously cheap. Get in quick before they put the prices up!
Hix Oyster & Fish House – Lyme Regis
Mark Hix’s Lyme Regis restaurant is bloody fantastic. Perched on a hill overlooking the sea and serving elegant, simple, British food utilising locally caught seafood and foraged ingredients. I had an absolutely unforgettable meal here and can’t wait to go back.
The Sportsman – Kent
I finally made pilgrimage to the holy grail of pub restaurants this year and holy-moly, was it worth it. The ‘must have’ tasting menu was without a doubt the best meal I’ve eaten all year, in actual fact, quite possibly the best meal I’ve ever had, anywhere. Astounding. If you haven’t been yet, make it your No.1 resolution for 2012, you wont regret it.
To see what my fellow food bloggers picked - Head this way.