Last Wednesday, myself and some other members of the Bristol foodie army made our way down to the cities independent harbour side pizza, pie and cider joint - The Stable. In aid of their latest spring menu re-fresh, us lucky (and hungry) folk were invited to try some of the venue’s newest additions, whilst learning about some of their best-selling local beverages.
If you’re already an inhabitant of Bristol, you’ll know that we’re utterly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out - so what makes this Dorset-born eatery and live music venue stand out amongst the crowd on our culinary radars?
Despite the majority of their menu focusing on sourdough, it’s important to note that The Stable isn’t a gourmet pizza joint – so don’t go with the pretence that you’ll be re-living a night at Pi Shop. Albeit, their informal eating environment positively works in their favour – with large, socially mixed tables, wooden serving platters, original terracotta flooring and an urban, STRIPD back aesthetic (excuse the plug), this unpretentious setting is clearly a firm favourite amongst the buzzing Bristolians who are queuing at the door.
With a totalled 17 locations, The Stable pride themselves on serving up dishes with produce that’s been gathered within close radius – heroing some of the best small-scale suppliers the West country and Southern regions have to offer. This season’s Bristol menu holds a pretty impressive line-up too; with Wokey Hole cave-aged cheese, Dorset Capreolus cured meats and Denhay Farm bacon listed amongst a host of other notables. Additionally, there’s some tweaks to their pizza menu; “The Big Jerk” makes it’s debut along with vegan option “The Bute Island Blazer”, whilst longstanding favourite “The Billy The Kid (v)” has a subtle, yet delicious update. Also worth mentioning are the generously portioned salads – satisfying, flavoursome and healthy with no wimpy iceberg lettuce in sight (hallelujah). The “Fennel, roasted butternut squash and feta” and “Spice-rubbed chicken” are due some praise here – with even the most devout of pizza fans (my meat-eating, sourdough-loving plus one) impressed by the virtuous, yet delicious alternatives.
Of course, to accompany stellar food, you need a supply of equally apt beverages – and again, The Stable doesn’t fall short. Choose from an impressive range of ciders (80 to be exact), or if the selection is too overwhelming – there’s a tasting board of five 1/3 pint servings instead (just don’t go at it alone). Sweet, dry, flat or fizzy – there’s no doubt your alcoholic tastes will be catered for here, with in-house cider experts more than happy to assist with recommendations if needed. Be sure to keep an eye out for their special weekly blends too – Champagne a la Apricot (think sweet, peachy notes) is not one to be missed.
So although The Stable is not a newbie to the Bristol block, it’s worth keeping this waterside spot in mind when on the look out for watering holes this spring. Be sure to take it for what it is - with a prime location, regular live acts and a worthy food and drinks menu to match – this laid-back dining hub is certainly not to be ignored.