My last supper would look something like lunch at Adeline Yard: a beautifully cooked piece of fish, fresh pasta, plenty of seasonal vegetables and a creamy desert crowned with sweet-sharp fruit. It would also be eaten on a balmy evening in the Mediterranean, with waves lapping the shoreline close by a table filled with family and friends, but there is only so much one can ask of a Bristol-based restaurant.
We start with strongly salty, golden spheres of arancini giving way to a delicately flavoured courgette and basil centre, and then we are on to that piece of fish. In this instance, it is a fillet of smoked trout, whose earthy flavour is complemented by the woodiness of the smoking process. It plays the starring role amidst the attendant sour cream foam, sweet pickled cucumber and salty strands of samphire, all brought together by the brightness from a dash of lovage emulsion. Dominant flavours are treated deftly with just enough technique to elevate each ingredient, but not so much that it feels assertively ‘cheffy’.
Next we’re on to a dish with Italian origins, refreshed with local, seasonal British ingredients. A generous mound of fresh tagliatelle has been whipped with Caerphilly cheese, mint and chives until each silken ribbon is lightly clad in a tangy sauce, which manages to feel luxuriously creamy without being heavy. The pasta is lightened further by piles of mild spring peas and broad beans, and a crowning tangle of greens. This food has classical foundations, but it is delivered with a lightness of touch that avoids the weight of butter and cream that can accompany classic French cooking.
For dessert, there is a pannacotta cut through by the crunch of caramelised panic breadcrumbs and the bitterness of burnt blood orange. It is served in a wide, shallow bowl to ensure each mouthful is accompanied by a enough topping to balance the rich cream below. The final flourish is a speckled layer of vanilla seeds coating the base of the bowl, which is revealed gradually as each spoonful is scraped away and, sadly, the lunch draws to a close.
The bill is sweetened by an accompanying almond cakes, but it hardly needs sweetening at all. It is just £15 for three courses - three generous courses at that - with bread, amuse bouche and petit fours. It is one of the best, and best value, meals that I have enjoyed in a very long time.