As the votes are counted tonight (Thursday 3 November) one venue in particular will be waiting for baited breath when the Restaurant of the Year is announced at the Carlsberg Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016.
Despite only being open for a year, Chef Adam Church and his team have quietly created a great little place serving British tapas called Bread & Pullet.
In amongst the patchwork of barber shops, pubs, fast food outlets and restaurants of every cuisine you can think of, you will find this charming rustic restaurant on the Wellingborough Road.
The urban setting is the base for a foodies larder of meats, breads, cheese, oils, sauces, beers and gin sourced locally from independent suppliers and producers. Some like the table bottle of Bite Me sauces and Warner Edwards gin at the bar are more obvious than others to identify.
The careful selection and provenance of ingredients is a credit to Adam and shines through in all of the dishes. Deep-fried whitebait had a perfect crispness and juicy fish, while beetroot sourdough just the right level of garlic.
My mac ‘n’ cheese was dotted with crayfish to break through the moreish melted cheese. As they were on the small plates section, my partner was surprised (and secretly pleased) when not one but two domes of Yorkshire Puddings arrived. For my partner gravy is a deal breaker. He smothered one crispy dome in the ‘proper onion and Saxby cider gravy’ before requesting another jug which he received without any fuss. This to us was another sign of the genuinely friendly and efficient service which flows seamlessly.
The hash brown and mussels on the specials board caught our attention, but we were getting full so we ear-marked those for a future visit.
The best advice that I can give you is to forget any ideas of Spanish and Italian tapas dishes, order as you go, have a drink, have a nibble and do be swayed by what other tables are enjoying and you won’t regret it. At these very reasonable prices you can afford to try a range of dishes.
We shared four small plates and two large ones (but only had one drink each as we were driving) and the bill came to £45 which we thought was great value for the quality of the food.
After our supper I went up to the open kitchen to say hello to Adam. He loves it when diners explore the menu and keep returning to keep enjoying new dishes. With a brunch and afternoon tea on offer as well as a main dinner menu this is very easy to do.
My only gripe – the high backed chairs have a low shallow seat, so aren’t hugely comfortable after an hour!
(The restaurant didn’t know that I am a food blogger, or that I wanted to review the evening and we paid for our own meal.)
Value for money: 4/5
Bread and Pullet, 176 Wellingborough Road, Northampton 01604 638520 http://www.breadandpullet.co.uk