Review of Pascere on Duke’s Street
It’s all change at Pascere and it tastes great
Brighton restaurants can be hard to keep up with. What’s new, what’s closed, which chef is where – you know what I’m saying, don’t you? And Pascere on Duke’s Street is a spot that’s had a fair few changes in its time.
Critical acclaim and 2 AA rosettes
It did brilliantly well under Head Chef Johnny Stafford, garnering critical acclaim from national media, 2 AA Rosettes and a “must go” rating from me, as well as snatching 8th place in the 2018 Brighton Top 20 Awards (plus the award for best wine list). But when Johnny left, those of us who follow these things closely took a short sharp breath and wondered how things would pan out…
So what happened next? Well, The Ivy turned up and everyone (me included) got a little distracted by the smoke and mirrors. But as I’ve told you before, the food at The Ivy isn’t all that, so my advice is bin that off and head to Pascere instead.
I won’t lie to you, Pascere has not been without its bumps but I’m pleased to say that my visit a week ago superseded all other meals I’ve had there (I’ve eaten here four times – not all on invitation).
Say hello to a new Head Chef
So what’s changed? Well, James King, originally Pascere’s Sous Chef, is back working at the restaurant after a summer hiatus – he returns as Head Chef and is more than proving he’s up to the promotion.
Thanks to James the food is now back to it’s bold and brilliant flavours and standout dishes like the beef cheek with smoked puréed potato & wasabi will not disappoint you for your starters.
Bold & brilliant flavours
The Lake District lamb rump, with a rich meaty jus, sweet pumpkin purée and chopped Kalamata olives is a main course worth highlighting, with a bonus side dish consisting of a tasty ragu (a creamy meaty, penne pasta combo) served on the side.
I also mustn’t forget to mention the sous vide hunk of halibut, served with a miniature fried quail egg encased in a crispy pak choi leaf, which was also divine – very moist and meaty.
Desserts smashed it with ease too – I had a velvety dark chocolate delice with a peanut ganache dome and blackberry sorbet, sat on cocoa nibs and dark chocolate caramel, alongside beetroot meringues and droplets of blackberry gel. My guest opted for an epic wedge of Rollright, a buttery-rich wash-rind cheese from the Cotswolds, paired with quince, kiwi, caramelised apple purée and homemade crackers.
Impeccable wines paired to each course
The wines were impeccably selected by Pascere’s sommelier Dan, to pair with our food, starting with the Macon Fuisse – a white an unoaked Chardonnay from Burgundy ideal for the fish course and following with the Diptyque Cabernet Franc – from the Loire, a soft red fruity number with a smooth, rounded palate for the meat courses.
If you’re not one for dessert wines usually – this is the place to give them another try. We had a Yuzu sake as an aperitif – a traditional Japanese drink made with fermented rice and flavoured with Yuzu a citrus Japanese fruit. Plus, the Chivite Colección 125, a sweet Spanish dessert wine with honey and ginger spice flavours – which was absolutely gorgeous.
PRICE: £30pp for 3 courses + 1 glass of wine
RATING: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give It A Miss
The movement of chefs is as quick as a game of musical chairs but this has not stopped Pascere – it’s back on form and better than ever. And, whilst it’s November and things tend to be quieter, Pascere is giving you a great offer to take advantage of. Just pop along on between Tuesday and Thursday and for £30 per person, you’ll receive 3 courses, plus a glass of wine all in.
8 Duke’s Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH
*Disclaimer: I was invited to dine but rest assured, when things aren’t up to scratch I still say so.
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