Inspectors award Isaac At 2 AA rosettes
Last week Isaac At was awarded 2 AA rosettes under head chef and restaurant owner Isaac Bartland, with the Inspectors describing Isaac’s offering as “dynamic cooking celebrating Sussex produce.” Having learnt this fantastic news and knowing that last Monday the young chef celebrated his 25th birthday, I thought a piece on his achievements, alongside a few photos of my most recent meal here were in order.
Rewind to 2015 and aged just 21, Isaac took on the lease of a former residential property on Gloucester Road and converted it into a pop-up restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights. His budget was modest by restaurant standards, just £25K – proving a swanky fit-out isn’t essential to launch a successful start-up restaurant.
Isaac was one of the first to bring the concept of a Sussex-based tasting menu to the Brighton dining scene, sourcing high quality, seasonal ingredients from the likes of Fin & Farm, Trenchmore, Brighton Fish and Ridgeview, as well as foraging on the downs and scrumping from his mum’s garden at times. This unique offering proved a hit with diners and critics alike and the restaurant thrived despite a competitive market, with several headline chefs opening flashy new restaurants in recent years.
In September 2016, Isaac’s (as the locals call it) underwent a spruce up and a table for two was installed up at the pass with a direct view into the kitchen and TV screens with a CCTV feed of the preparation area. The transformation made the 22-seater restaurant more homely and Isaac’s switched from a pop-up to permanent restaurant, open Tuesday and Saturday evenings, as well as Saturday lunchtimes. A shorter set menu of 4-courses was also introduced at the end of 2017, with the pre-theatre diner in mind. Priced at £29pp it’s now available Tuesday-Thursday evenings and Saturday lunchtimes.
Most recently Isaac At has taken home a number of awards including 12th position in Brighton’s Best Restaurants Awards – voted by critics such as myself – and 4th position in the publicly voted BRAVO Awards, in addition to the prestigious accolade of 2 AA rosettes (out of a potential 3) by the AA Inspectors last Friday.
So there’s a quick rundown of this brilliant little restaurant’s achievements to date, if you’d like to read a more in-depth review checkout my previous write ups from 2015, 2016, and 2017. I’ll just leave you with the photos of my recent tasting menu experience to tempt you to make a visit.
2 Gloucester Street, Brighton, BN1 4EW
Have you tried Isaac’s yet or are you tempted to now? Leave me a comment below and let me know.
*Disclaimer: I was invited to dine but with or without an invite, you will always receive my entirely honest opinion on the experience.