When The Almanack opened in Kenilworth, seven years ago, it was like a breath of fresh air. At that point there weren’t any other bistro bar/restaurants and with it’s 60s retro vibe it really set the level for those who were to follow.
Jump forward to today. Gone are the mis-matched 60s teak furniture and in its place is a grown up elegant interior. But that’s not all to have changed. There’s a new award winning Head Chef, Rob Hartwell who has moved from the Rose and Crown in Warwick. With these new changes I was keen to visit to see the new look.
A mid week night out is always a good thing. My SIL had only ever stopped by for drinks previously, so I was looking forward to introducing her to Rob’s culinary delights. The night we visited there were quite a few people in the bar and restaurant which gave the place a nice buzz.
I’m really liking the interiors. The transformation gives the place a sophisticated feel. It’s the little details which do this such as the fabric used on the chairs, the lighting, the subtle use of vintage pieces and New York loft inspiration.
The private dining space is unrecognisable. It’s now a warm and inviting space where you’d want to spend time celebrating or entertaining clients.
On this occasion we by passed the bar and headed straight for the restaurant. We were able to choose where we wanted to sit and opted for a booth in the corner, which gave an excellent vantage point.
We were warmly greeted by our waiter for the evening who obliged with our order of wine and Prosecco. We pursued the menu and specials board which offered a good selection of dishes. It didn’t take us long to decide what we were going to have. I was feeling in the mood for comfort food and our waiter was able to help me make a choice between two options. My SIL was as always decisive in her choices.
Whilst waiting for our starters we had a warm small loaf with garlic butter.
We didn’t have to wait long before our starters arrived. I had opted for the dressed Brixham crab, spring oinion & tomato salad with preserved lemon dressing. The dish was full of flavour and a large portion for a starter. For me it didn’t need the croutons and I left these. My SIL was also pleased with her Laverstoke Park mozzarella, heritage tomato & basil salad. With three different varieties of tomato it made a more interesting dish.
When my main course arrived I was pleased with my choice. It definitely fitted the comfort food category. I’d opted for the slow & low honey & mustard pulled ham hock, creamy mash, green beans and gravy. As I placed my fork on the top of the pulled ham it just fell apart. Again this was another large portion and I struggled to finish it.
My SIL had opted for the breast of Tidenham duck with carrot & thyme rosti, wilted spinach and blackberry jus. She had asked for the duck to be cooked rare and this was done to her liking. She enjoyed every mouthful and said that all the flavours worked wonderfully together.
I hadn’t realised that the dishes I chose were going to be so large, therefore I didn’t have any room for dessert, but did have a coffee with additional smarties. However, my SIL was pleased to see a large cheese selection and opted for an individual cheese plate. Accompanying her various biscuits she chose Driftwood, Burwash Rose and Organic Per Las. She enjoyed all of the cheeses, but especially the Driftwood.
We are both in agreement that the changes to The Almanack are fabulous. Since my visit with my SIL I’ve been back for Sunday lunch with my Mum. We have also both booked to visit again.
I was invited to dine at The Almanck. I was not required to write a review. As always all views expressed are an honest account of my visit.