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Bell's Diner
If your idea of a diner meal includes greasy meatloaf slung onto chipped china plates by a dentally challenged serveuse, then you are not thinking of Bell's Diner. Bell's is like a diner in heaven, with an informal, friendly atmosphere, sophisticated yet rustic decor, equally sophisticated modern European menu and rather elegant clientele. It is housed in a Victorian building split into two rooms, so the intimate ambience is maintained. The menu changes every day, and some recent stellar dishes include red onion and goats cheese tarte tatin with frisee and walnut oil to start, and mains like grilled hake with spicy red wine and tomato sauce. Sweets are a must: try the licorice parfait with poached quince, then linger over an excellent cappuccino.
Address: 1 York Road, Montpelier
Price range: £24 and under
Cuisines:


City Cafe - Bristol
Funny thing about hotel restaurants. So many seem as if they don't belong to the city they're in, well, City Cafe in Bristol is different. The modern, chic design makes for a most welcoming dining room with ambient lights that change colours and add to the sense of occasion. The location is right on Temple Quay with a very popular terrace outside for basking afternoons. Head chef Peter Quinion brings top-end experience to City Cafe, and has created several menus, with terrific veggie options, to tempt and delight you. Try starter of open lasagne of pigeon and wild mushrooms with Madeira butter sauce, main course of Monkfish roasted with lemon grass and citrus with mediterranean salsa and smoked paprika aioli, and pudding of orange and pink grapefruit creme brulee. The international wine list is a very good match for the inventive cooking.
Address: Temple Rose Street
Price range: £24 and under
Cuisines: Thai, European


Mazati Lebanese Cuisine
Mazati occupies a romantically-lit basement arch off Bristol’s busy Corn Street. Most evenings find its formally laid tables alive with chatty young couples, business people and families. Mazati translates as Lebanese for ‘my mezze’ and there are plenty of them on the impressive and innovative menu. Best sellers include the familiar hummous and tabbouleh, and less familiar dishes for the adventurous. Choice is big, ranging from succulent sharing platters, colorful national dishes, salads, and chef’s specials such as farrouj meshwi (marinated boneless chicken, charcoal grilled, and served with garlic sauce), and lahm meshwi (charcoal grilled lamb cubes). Several unusual dishes. The Lebanese pizzas makes a satisfying change to the usual. Please note, diners booking through toptable will be able to order from the a la carte menu, and not from the buffet.
Address: 13a Small Street
Price range: £25-£34 / €35-
Cuisines: Lebanese


Henbury Lodge Hotel and Restaurant
The restaurant at Henbury Lodge Hotel offers a gracious country house setting just four miles from Bristol city centre. This seventeenth-century mansion with its traditional décor, open fires and warm welcome has been a place of hospitality for more than two hundred years. The dining room is a slice of classic English décor, with soft colours, pelmetted drapes, comfortable carver seating, figured carpet, mahogany side board, brass sconces and gilt mirrors. The multi award-winning cuisine uses local, seasonal ingredients in its traditional English dishes that are piqued with continental flair. A friendly, informal greeting awaits you.
Address: Station Road, Henbury
Price range: £25 - £34
Cuisines:


Myristica Restaurant
Bristol’s Myristica, run by brothers Amit and Tosh Lakhani, has set out with the aim of giving their customers ‘a truly authentic flavour of Indian food’. The experience begins with the restaurant itself. Modern, sleek and good looking from the polished hard wood floors to the gleaming marble bar the interior surely wouldn’t be out of place in a top Mumbai hotel. The food follows suit, beautifully presented, each dish is made to order using quality, seasonal ingredients. With traditional street food cooked with as much passion as the speciality family dishes Myristica is rewriting the Indian food rule book.
Address: 14 King Street
Price range: £25-£34 / €35-
Cuisines: Indian


The Walrus & The Carpenter
The Walrus and the Carpenter restaurant in Clifton near Bristol is sister restaurant to the long-running Bath favourite of the same name, affectionately called The Wally Bath. This funky, charming eaterie has its heart is still in the psychedelic 1970s, with an eclectic collection of posters and artwork, buzzy blue woodwork, white walls, checkerboard tablecloths and curtains. It’s a family-run place that welcomes singles, couples and children and the greeting is always the warmest. Local, free-range, organic produce goes into the generous, freshly-made dishes, including a good selection of vegetarian and vegan choices. Everything is made here, right down to the mayonnaise. The lunchtime menu offers lighter portions and there are daily multi-coloured chalkboard specials. The cocktail list is locally famous. Rock on, Wally Bristol.
Address: 1 Regent Street , Clifton
Price range: £24 and under
Cuisines: Other


Bistro La Barrique
Bishopston’s Bistro La Barrique would be your typical neighbourhood French bistro…if we all had a renowned Chef like Michel Lemoine cooking up a storm in our neck of the woods. If you are lucky enough to be in the area you’ll be treated not only to a wonderfully laid back atmosphere but a stylish dining room, a decked area for summertime dining and, naturally, gorgeous food. Using the typical French menu but adding a Mediterranean twist, Bistro La Barrique has taken bistro dining to the next level. A range of mouth watering main meals may be available but just try to resist the Petits Plat, Barrique’s take on the tapas menu. Bon appetite.
Address: 225 Gloucester Road , Bishopston
Price range: £25-£34 / €35-
Cuisines: Mediterranean


The Cathay Rendezvous
The Cathay Rendezvous is a well-established Chinese restaurant on King Street, Bristol’s oldest thoroughfare. Behind the elegant 18th century facade is a series of rooms on two floors. Named after the after the collection of world-famous Nanking Cango porcelain on display, the main royal blue-coloured dining space is the Nanking Room. The extensive menu broadly covers the main culinary traditions of China - Mandarin, Cantonese and Szechuan - with main courses usually satisfying most taste buds and hunger levels… aromatic crispy duck, soft shell crab claws stuffed with minced prawns, Canton fillet steak flambe. Those who prefer to have their decision made for them, the set menus can be relied on. The Sunday lunch ‘eat as much as you like for £9’ special is popular.
Address: 30 King Street
Price range: £25-£34 / €35-
Cuisines: Chinese


Budokan - Clifton
Budokan’s Clifton branch follows on from the runaway success of the Bristol City Centre branch with more of the same good quality Pan Asian food served with communal dining in mind. Head upstairs to enjoy views of the surrounding area on one side of you and chefs preparing your meal in the theatre kitchen on the other. The easy formula of long benches and orange glow is also continued from Budokan’s City restaurant. Lovers of Asian cuisine can save hundreds in air fares by sampling the near-as-damn-it authenticity of favourite dishes from Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia made with fresh, GM-free ingredients and served with the eye, as well as the stomach and tastebuds, in mind.
Address: Clifton Down, Whiteladies Road
Price range: £24 and under
Cuisines: Asian/Oriental


Budokan - Bristol
Since 1998 Bristol’s Budokan has undoubtedly been the South West’s number one Pan Asian restaurant, boasting two AA Rosettes and a regular clientele. The simple, fuss free bar leads through to an equally unpretentious dining room where you’ll have no problem getting to know your fellow diners on the long wooden benches which stretch the width of the room. The menu takes in the very best of Asian food using fresh, free range ingredients, as free as possible from genetic modification. Signature dishes from Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are well represented in a surprisingly concise menu with good value set menus for those who find it difficult to pick.
Address: 31 Colston Street
Price range: £24 and under
Cuisines: Asian/Oriental


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