I’m not too familiar with the food scene in the North East, but my brother who loves food just as much as me recommended this place, and I was pleased when he made a dinner booking for us during my stay.
Peace & Loaf is headed up by 2010 MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Dave Coulson, who is known to have a reputation and passion for creating flavoursome and innovative dishes. Opened in autumn 2013, the restaurant offers exciting seasonal menus that incorporates Dave’s signature dishes, and utilizes the freshest and locally sourced produce.
The restaurant is spread across three levels, with simple decor and exposed brick walls which gives it a very warm and welcoming feel. We were seated on the first floor where the kitchen was and had a view of the pass at the far corner. I particularly liked the birdcage candle-holders and the lights hanging from the ceiling.
We were started off with some warm loaves of bread and butter, and small snacks – arancini and salmon deep fried lollipops and beans on toast.
For starters, I had the earl grey tea cured salmon which was served with some crispbreads. An interesting combination of flavours with the citrus taste of the lemon fanta and the smokiness of the anchovy. My brother had the braised oxtail which was really soft and tender, served with creamy saffron risotto. My sister-in-law had the scallops which were nicely cooked.
| Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon, Lemon Fanta, Smoked Anchovy |
| Scallop, Cucumber, Purple Broccoli, Bergamot |
| Braised Oxtail, Saffron Risotto, Red Wine, Parmesan |
After clearing our starters, we were served an amuse bouche of black pudding. It was really delicious and my brother who has obviously eaten more black pudding than I have said that it was one of the best ones that he has had so far.
For my main, I ordered the vanison which was tender, with a nice pink centre. The black pudding was served in a sort of springroll which was light and crisp. The mash was smooth and creamy, and the whole plate was really tasty and vibrant.
The confit duck egg had a nice, runny centre, and had a nice crunchy texture from the granola bits.
The monkfish had a firm and meaty texture and was served on a bed of pasta, and some tasty ham knuckles on the side.
| Venison, Black Pudding, Beetroot, Pear, Port |
| Confit Duck Egg, Celeriac, Wild Mushroom, Black Garlic, Granola |
| Monkfish, Ham Knuckle, Minestrone, Sourdough |
And then came my favourite part of the meal – dessert. The Assiette of Desserts was recommended on the menu for two to share, but the waitress told us that the portion is pretty generous and enough to be shared between the three of us.
The platter came served with:
Frozen Yoghurt, Burnt Clementine, Pumpkin
Rum & Raisin Cheesecake, White Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Tart, Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Eggnog Pannacotta, Mulled Fruit
My favourites were the chocolate tart and the rum & raisin cheesecake. This was definitely one of the most satisfying and best value dessert platters that I have ever had.
Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable meal – great food, lovely presentation, and friendly service.
I am keen to go back when I’m next up North, and would recommend if you happen to visit the area.
The Cheekster, signing out x