Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Angel Delight

Sat 12 Aug 2006

Sometimes it feels like we never get around to trying the things on our doorstep. For quite a while I've had my eye on Angel's Share in Chapel Allerton. This was based on an appealing interior photograph in a magazine. But I did also check out the menu on the website which was enough to get me to sign up for the mailing list. And that was as far as I got.

The team at Angel's Share is impressive, with staff having been involved in venues such as Oporto, Harvey Nick's cafe and bar and the Malmaison Brasserie. So, does the venue live up to my shiny expectations?

We had a very early dinner reservation, but still managed to arrive early enough to fit in a drink in the bar. Even at just after 6pm, the bar had a good buzz about it, and they offer a very solid range of drinks - from cocktails to wines by the glass, draught beer to bottled beer. The seating is arranged cleverly enough to accommodate everyone, and there are seats both at the bar and outside on the terrace area.

The restaurant is arranged over two floors - the floor immediately above the bar offers smoking dining accommodation while non smoking diners are on the top floor, which also includes a balcony area.

So, after beers downstairs, we were soon esconced at our table, me with a glass of rose in hand. Having already scouted the menu online we were relatively quick to make our dining decisions, and were able to settle down to the bread brought to our table. It was a fresh, warm half loaf of granary, on a board, served with both butter and olive oil. There are so few places that even bother to warm their bread that this makes an immediate positive impression. And, in fact, it is this type of attention to detail that made our meal at Angel's Share so good.

I started with the caramelised fennel with grilled goat's cheese. This was served with salad and a light balsamic vinegar dressing. The flavours were all well balanced and the serving size was perfect. I'm a huge fan of fennel and I really enjoyed the way the creaminess of the goat's cheese complemented the aromatic, aniseed fennel.

Andy's passion for seafood led to a few moments of prevarication as he wavered between the paella and the king prawns. The prawns won out, and he was presented with prawns, shell on, in a garlic, chilli and sherry sauce. The sherry definitely added a very unusual and tasty twist, and wasn't spoiled by overbearing chilli or garlic. He didn't even have to worry about grubby fingers, thanks to the presence of a finger bowl.

Our main courses lived up to the high standard already set. I really enjoyed my smoked salmon steak with lime and avocado salsa and Andy's steak with onion rings, chips (hand cooked, twice fried) and tomatoes was polished off very smartly. The steak was perfectly cooked, tasty and tender - and even went very well with my avocado salsa!

It goes without saying that, of course, the steak was served with a steak knife, and that our waitress remembered which dish was going where. The main disappointment was that I wasn't able to talk Andy into sharing a dessert!

It's probably pointless to say that we'll be going to Angel's Share again - mid week the early bird offer is a main course and dessert (or glass of wine) for just £10. If you make it out of bed before 1 on a Sunday you can enjoy a main course and Bloody Mary for £6.

Our meal (two courses each, beer and wine) set us back just over £40. I thought this was fantastic value - the service was absolutely spot on, attention was paid to every detail and the food was well thought out, well presented and very tasty. The bar downstairs offers the perfect venue for pre and post dinner drinking, and, with its two outdoor areas, the Angel's Share offers a comprehensive night out.

Absolute heaven!

Angel's Share is at Stainbeck Corner, Chapel Allerton, phone: 0113 307 0111.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liked the cherubic references, but were the chips hand cooked or cut?

12:25 pm  

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