Friday, 21 September 2007

England, Bristol

Culinaria
1 Chandos Road, Bristol, BS6 6PG
0117 973 7999

From the reveiws, to the telephone booking, to the actual meal, everything about Culinaria is exciting, new, refreshing and delicous....absolutely delicious. Our host understood what Coeliac means and checked everything with the chef - even before we arrived.

The menu changes weekly, but it is based on what I call French farm house chic.

I ate a lot because I wanted to try everything. Starting with meaty fish soup served with spices and oil and grated fresh parmesan, then the roasted grouse served with sliced potatoe crisps, celeriac, cellery and carrot mash, finally leaving a very small space for poached figs and fig ice cream.

Originally I asked for the orange cake, but our host found out that it had a 'little bit of baking powder' in it but couldn't say it if was gluten free. This cake is made on ground almonds.

On the way in or out you can find all sorts of rustic goodies like jars of olives, jams, quine paste, cellery crackers and fresh breads, cakes and pasties - but I'm not too interested in the latter because there isn't anything that I can eat. A jar of olives is always a must have!

Culinaria also do take aways and have a very well thought out menu such as venison meat balls - they are more like ready meals than anything remotely like a take out.

Looking for a unique gift?
Here's an idea. My friends have just had a baby boy - I was thinking of a present, something that they didn't have - what could I possibly get them that they didn't have - it occurred to me that I could give them the gift of time with the help of Culinaria. I bought them a gift voucher and they could pop in and get a take out whenever they wanted. Great food and amazingly convenient.

December 2007 update...
Culinaria wins round two. My friend Debbie and I could be spotted starting our night with Fish Soup for me (am I ever going to try a different starter), Seared Scallops for Debbie; Roasted Pheasant for me and the Beef for Debbie.

No to the desserts this time, but yes to coffee and tea and the most wonderful glass of full bodied French red which unlike a lot of French red wasn't heavy or oaky at all. Don't get too impressed - I'm not really a wine expert - I know what I like. The wine was recommended by our delightful host.

Again, from the moment we arrived (and we were slightly late), it was nothing but smiles and welcomes and acknowledgement that I was their Coeliac for the night. I absolutely adore Culinaria and would eat there every night for the rest of my life if I had the chance.