The Lido, Bristol

The Lido is tucked away down a side street in Clifton but just a stone’s throw from where I live so I thought it’d be rude not to pay the restaurant a visit, particularly when Jay Rayner himself deemed it worthy of a review. It’s a lovely little place; I’d been there before and sat outside on the terrace in the sunshine, sipping an aperitif whilst pretending i’m in the med, but hadn’t yet paid the restaurant a visit.

The menu isn’t extensive, but being the world’s most indecisive person this definitely wasn’t a bad thing. Always intrigued by food i’ve never tried before, the fresh curd on sourdough with tomatoes had to be sampled. Our waitress kindly explained that the curd was akin to a mild goats cheese. I’d say that the consistency was somewhere between a cream cheese and a less lumpy cottage cheese, ok, so I realise i’m not really selling it here.. However, I can definitely vouch that the taste was far superior to either of the afore mentioned –  light, soft and creamy, that little miss muffett was on to something.

After being rather taken with the pigeon dish the week before I ordered a pigeon salad with black figs. The game was complemented by the sweetness of the fruit and it was finished off by a smattering of crispy fried chickpeas which balanced well with the softness of the other ingredients.

I was very pleased with my choice of main, a whole bream, which came with green beans, tomatoes and olives.  It was a beautiful specimen and tasted divine. A great example of letting the flavours of a quality product speak for themselves, without feeling the need to over complicate the dish. Wood-roasting is a feature of a number of the dishes so we thought it’d be rude not to try something off the menu that was cooked in this way. The man, being a man, wanted something meaty so chicken was the choice. It was an enjoyable dish, the meat was very moist, but I felt it lacked the real ‘wow’ factor of the fish.

Now, when it comes to dessert, if ice cream’s your bag then you’re in for a treat. They’ve an array of flavours to choose from, it ain’t just your plain old vanilla on offer here. My companion plumped for the hazelnut gelato, a good choice, it really was the true essence of hazelnut. I was torn between a posh version of the old rum and raisin, made with pedro ximinez, and the salted caramel. But that was before I spied a white peach and frangipane tart. I knew the baking at the Lido was top notch, having had a cream tea there some months earlier and eaten the best scone i’m sure i’ll ever have. This, coupled with having missed out on the frangipane last time at Three Coqs swung it for me and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The pastry was well made, really light and crisp and the flavours of the tart were delicate.

Overall, a very pleasant evening indeed. I’d definitely recommend seeking out the Lido, even when the sun’s not out to play.

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