Dining Out in Plymouth, Devon
Bella Italia, Plymouth, Plymouth
Bella Italia has been bringing a taste of Italy to the UK since the early 1990s. With a menu combining delicious pizza and pasta with a superb range of grill and speciality dishes there's something for everybody - even the children! The food is complemented by some fantastic Italian wines - many from smaller producers and all chosen by a Master of Wine - beers and soft drinks.
Opening hours: Mon - Sat 09.00 - 23.00 Sun 09.00 - 22.00
Bella Italia - Plymouth, 30-33, Derrys Cross, Plymouth, PL1 2SW.
Tel. 01752 662143
Bistro One, Plymouth
Well known restaurateur and wine writer Stephen Barrett is the owner of the refurbished Bistro One, situated in one of Plymouth's oldest Victorian trading areas, 'tranquil' Ebrington Street, and is just a few minutes walk from the famous war monument 'Charles Church' and the University of Plymouth. Modern bistro fare that includes dishes created from fish, seafood and shellfish from Plymouth or Looe, game from Dartmoor, and beef, lamb and pork from Cornwall, is served there. Start your day with a 'Full-On Scoff' Westaways sausages and hog pudding, dry-cured bacon, eggs, hash brown, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans - said to be 'the best breakfast either side of the Tamar! Consider lovely Barbican seafood chowder followed by mains of fragrant rare beef with tomato, chorizo sauce and Chinese noodles, or roasted steak of Cornish pork loin with smoked bacon, puy lentils and pickle. Few other desserts can surpass the goodness of Sally Black's 'lovely lovely' cake. This is truly a neighbourhood Bistro worth searching out in a sea of mediocrity. 'Lunch for a Fiver' arrives with loads of seasonal choices, and wines by Stephen Barrett will always be of great value and originality at Bistro One.
Bistro One, 68 Ebrington Street, Charles Cross, Plymouth, PL4 9AQ.
Tel. 01752 313315
Chloe's Restaurant is arguably the best in the city of Plymouth. French chef Didier Franchet and his fiancée Jo have clearly decided that it is time modern French cuisine came to Plymouth, and few would disagree. Every meal at Chloe's is a satisfying memory. The menu is inspired by Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Ducasse whose experience gleams through an array of dishes chosen from a combination of old favourites and interesting twists on traditional themes. Starters on the carte number around eight and could include mi-cuit of fresh sashimi tuna with homemade avocado tartar, accompanied by sauce vierge, or Chloe's foie gras trilogy. It's not every restaurant where you would take kindly to the suggestion of rabbit leg as a main dish, but you would here, done moutarde and served with gratin Dauphinois. Fresh local scallops in their shell arrives with diced belly pork and mixed vegetables, whilst vegetarians will rejoice in freshly baked aubergine stuffed with a homemade ratatouille and topped with grated cheese and sauce vierge. Chloe's can command fish as fresh as anywhere and the roasted back of local lemon sole with seasonal vegetables in a light lemon butter has to be one of the great classic dishes of all time though the cassolette des copains carries fillet of catch of the day set on a bed of salted cod brandade, flash cooked spinach and Hollandaise sauce with a golden grilled finish comes a very close second. Each dish is a symphony of tasteful design and top class ingredients. Five desserts plus a fine selection of English and French cheeses ranges from a stunning fresh summer fruit salad topped with tangy lemon sorbet quenelle through baked hot cherry clafouti topped with pistachio ice-cream to the most wonderful Chloe's Monte Carlo for chocolate lovers. Lobster and champagne evenings are held around once a month, the centrepiece of which is grilled lobster with cognac and tarragon sauce, starting with lobster bisque and croustille. A wine list makes up for its brevity by the skill with which it is chosen, starting with an unoaked Terret from Michael Laroche and moving upwards. A reserve list awaits attention from the discerning wine connoisseur. Close by is the Theatre Royal and Chloe's opens at 5.30pm for pre theatre dinners, and bless them, they do supper after the show for orders taken between 10.00 and 10.20pm. This place is a great find and the sort of restaurant that cares for its regulars whilst providing a welcome surprise for newcomers.
Chloe's Restaurant, Gill Akaster House, Princess Street, Plymouth, PL1 2EX.
Tel. 01752 201523
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
Nando's - Plymouth, Unit 1, Barbican Leisure Park, Barbican Approach, Coxside, Plymouth, PL4 0LG.
Tel. 01752 664907
Tanner's Restaurant, Plymouth
Tanners can accomodate 45 people, split into three rooms. The well room provides the unique experience of dining by one of Plymouth's original limestone wells. The ambience is relaxed, convivial and steeped in the long history of one of England's most famous sea ports. The deep medieval walls and original features create a truly timeless experience.
Chris and James Tanner's eponymous restaurant is growing from strength to strength and fast becoming a destination for both their unique twenty-first century cuisine as well as the contrasting medieval style décor consisting of refectory style tables, tapestries, an illuminated well and florid quotes inscribed on rough stone walls. Having gained experience at some of the best restaurants in London, Bath, France and New York, the brothers zeroed in on the Prysten House, one of the oldest residential buildings in Plymouth as the venue for their venture in 1999. Within a span of eight years, Tanners scooped the AA restaurant of the year award. The food there is anything but ordinary with dishes such as pan fried Cornish Pollack, lemon and herb linguini, tomato fondue, confit 'gressingham' duck leg with vegetable soup and corn-fed chicken and ham hock terrine, prune, hazelnut and smoked oil featuring on the menu. Guests are also provided a good range of wines from across the globe. Open Tuesday to Saturday for Lunch and Dinner.
Tanners Restaurant Prysten House, Finewell Street, Plymouth, PL1 2AE.
Tel. 01752 252001
The Artillery Tower, Plymouth
Run as a restaurant, serving delightful British food from mainly local ingredients, since 1998 by Peter and Debbie Constable, Plymouth's Artillery Tower was built for strategic control of the entrance to Plymouth Sound and to protect Stonehouse from seaborne attack. It dates from the early 1500s and is one of the oldest complete military buildings on Plymouth's seafront. It houses now a restaurant that is noted for its attention to mainly small, local and regional producers, the stunning views over the Sound to Drake's Island and Mount Edgcumbe, and its warm and welcoming staff and atmosphere. Peter was head chef at Piermasters Restaurant, Plymouth, and before that pastry chef at The Horn of Plenty at Gulworthy, near Tavistock.
It is pleasing to find such a splendidly historic building being used for a worthwhile purpose, without suffering in the process. The traditions of classical cuisine are revered and set price menus are available for dinner and lunch. At dinner an amuse bouche of homemade bread, nibbles and a little cup of soup are aimed at sprucing up the tastebuds before moving on to Salcombe crab and avocado salad with bloody mary sauce, or farmhouse terrine with toast and chutney. A Cornish rose veal chop with saffron mash and gremolata gives new life to this once popular dish, and beetroot, blue cheese and red wine blend together to make an unusual rand appealing risotto. As a location for a party The Artillery Tower has a great deal going for it. Locations in The Gun Room or the Upper Deck make various permutations available but the best course is to make an appointment to meet them on site and discuss how this striking and historical building can best bring extra life to your event. A wine list of rather less than 100 draws inspiration from across the world at prices that generally do not cross the £30 rubicon. Menus are constantly changing as they probe the markets and their own ideas at The Artillery Tower, so it's a good idea to check.
The Artillery Tower, Firestone Bay, Plymouth, PL1 3QR.
Tel. 01752 257610
The Wet Wok, Plymouth
The Wet Wok offers Chinese cuisine allied with stunning views of Plymouth Sound. The food is excellently prepared and served with friendly efficient service at a reasonable price. Overall as Chinese restaurants go this is a cut above the rest! A takeaway service is also available.
The Wet Wok, 75 Hoe Road, West Hoe, Plymouth, Devon. PL1 3DQ.
Tel. 01752 664456
Veggie Perrin's, Plymouth
Veggie Perrin's takes a moral stand against violence to animals, hence none of our cuisine contains ingredients derived from cruelty to animals. No fish, prawns, or even eggs are used. The Veggie Perrin's Organisation is inspired by the Hindu principal of Ahimsa (non-violence to all creatures) which was advocated by Gandhi and is a fundamental belief of the founder of Veggie Perrin's, Bill Meswania. This is a family-run restaurant specialising in Gujarati cuisine, made in exactly the same way as we do at home - something that devotees of genuine Indian food appreciate. Gujarat is a state in the West of India, famous for its imaginative and subtly-spiced cuisine...as you'll find out if you visit us. It is also the birthplace of the Meswania family and Mahatma Gandhi (though not necessarily in that order!).
Genuine Gujarati dishes are on offer at Veggie Perrins, which describes itself as the only exclusively Indian vegetarian restaurant in the South West. Not being in any position to refute that I can only endorse their plea that you join the many enthusiasts who flock to their doors. Bury your prejudices for an evening and really savour the wonderful aromas and flavours that they bring to an apparently veggie-starved Devon.
Veggie Perrin's, 97 Mayflower Street, Plymouth, PL1 1SD.
Tel. 01752 252888
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: