The New Inn Portland is on the right as you drive into Easton, which has wide roads and robust Portland Stone cottages, it is one of my minds images whenever anyone mentions Tophill. Easton is the gateway to Church Ope Cove, Portland Museum and the iconic attraction of Portland Bill. The New Inn was one of my first ever reviews as West Dorset Foodie and when Stacey & Spencer invited us back to sample their new menu, we leapt at the chance. It was going to be interesting to see how things have progressed since May 2012.
It was good to see Stacey & Spencer again and they were eager to tell us all about their new chef, Cornishman Joe Taylor. They had selected a few taster dishes from their new menu, allowing us to sample a range of his dishes. Uncannily they had chosen dishes that we would have chosen ourselves, so we were in for a treat.
The first thing we noticed was that the dart boards have gone, the large screen TV now sits above a rather cosy looking log burner and the whole interior has a smart traditional pub feel. There are plenty of local ales in evidence and a general feeling of a well cared for local, one where you can pop in for a pint or something to eat. Outside has been landscaped with a children’s area, a covered cocktail area and a wood fired oven for their very popular pizza parties.
First to arrive was a starter of Lyme Bay Scallops with cauliflower cream, crispy pancetta & lemon oil. The sweet perfectly cooked scallops, went well with the smooth cauliflower cream and the pancetta added a wonderful smokey salty texture to the dish. It was a delicious way to start any meal.
Vicky enjoyed the warm Dorset Goats Cheese with salt baked beetroot, apple puree & balsamic. A beautifully presented dish, the goats cheese had a good ‘tang, matched with the earthy beetroot and the sweeter salt baked pink beetroot & apple puree.
The House Fish Platter for one, had langoustines, Cornish mussels & clams in West Milton Cider & bacon. Served with a Portland Crab cake, skinny fries and lemon mayo on the side. The langoustines, Cornish mussels & clams were sweet and succulent, served in fragrant creamy cider sauce. The crab cake had capers, red onion & fennel to help balance the rich crab and was perfect to dip into the lemon mayo. The skinny fries were the icing on the cake and the finger bowl was needed after I had finished this dish.
The vegetarian & gluten free Mushroom ragu risotto, was stuffed full of mushroom flavours, boosted even more by the truffle oil. Each fork full was a stringy delight as you prized it away and I dread to think how much butter & Parmesan was used. The rice was beautifully cooked and the pickled cauliflower cut through the luxurious richness of this dish.
We then enjoyed two desserts, the first was a Chocolate Delice with choc brownie & white choc mousse. This was a chocolate lovers perfect dessert, light chocolate mousse, topped with a fudge chocolate brownie, I was only allowed to try one spoonful of this!
I had the Crème Fraîche Vanilla Cheesecake with blackberry. The simple title hides the very intricate garnish accompanying this creamy delight. Sat on top of a blackberry jelly disc were three mini meringues, blackberry compote, biscuit crumb and crystallised orange peel. It was delightful.
After we had finished we were pleased that Joe came over for a chat. He is a classical trained chef and still only 22, but he has already worked in The Ivy London, then traveled to Australia, working in two top end restaurants; but true love brought him back to Weymouth. He is passionate about using local produce and has visited many of his producers across the county. Joe is an amazing asset to the New Inn and with his energy and enthusiasm in the kitchen, it will only get better & better.
Stacey & Spencer have certainly progressed well since 2012, they have turned the New Inn into a wonderful locals pub and one where you can enjoy the food of Dorset, cooked beautifully by Joe – so a visit is a must! (current menus www.newinnportland.co.uk/eat )
The New Inn Portland
35 Easton Street
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|