As part of Esras birthday weekend, and as we are both real foodies, well I am, he’s American, but I’m helping refine his palette, I wanted a lovely restaurant for an evening meal. Last year, as I was in America and I was due to leave shortly, I paid for a week in Mexico for his birthday, and thought I would not be able to top that, but, to be honest, this birthday was better on many different levels.
So, wanting to take him to a nice restaurant and staying at a small hotel in Dunster I did what any self-respecting woman does, and looked on Trip Advisor. I actually looked at Minehead, which is down the road, because I didn’t realise or hadn’t paid attention to the fact that our hotel was a few miles out in Dunster. To be fair to me, I had booked it a month earlier and hadn’t looked at the booking since. So a mooch through Trip Advisor recommendations, which I always take with a pinch of salt anyway (no pun intended), I came across Reeves Restaurant. When I Google mapped it, it turned out to be a whole 200m from the front door of our hotel, don’t you just love the internet? I genuinely don’t recall what I did without it!
Reeves Restaurant was the winner of the ‘Best Chef of the Year’ in Somerset Life food and drink awards 2016, which makes it the second year running they have won that accolade. Not bad going and certainly shows an element of consistency which is so important when eating out, don’t you think? there is nothing worse than somewhere that used to be good the last time you went and this time has become an awful disappointment, I always feel cheated.
I booked our table via phone, assuming that they would be awfully busy given their status as such a good restaurant in the area. We booked for early doors as I personally dislike sleeping on a full stomach and prefer to eat earlier in the evening. So at 7pm we were stood outside the door waiting for them to open! desperate? me? When the door was opened, exactly on time, we were greeted with a smiley lovely lady who welcomed us in and popped us next to the already burning fire in the seating area. Flopping into a huge leather chesterfield, the general decor was warm and inviting and intimate and I couldn’t have made a better choice for a romantic dinner for two. We were quickly brought our drinks order and some delicious appetiser whilst we mused over the menu. Placing our orders we were left to drink and chat until it was time to sit at our table. The service was friendly and professional without being aloof, I always think service is a personal thing, I don’t like people fussing over me but I do like people on hand when I need them. Having eaten at some very expensive restaurants I also don’t like the utter professional and almost cold approach of some waiting staff, I get it, but I like a bit of personality and a little banter if I want it.
We were shown to our table and our starters arrived shortly after. A fishy start for both of us, Esra had mussels and I had Prawns, both dishes were utterly scrumptious and I genuinely don’t have anything I would change on them. They didn’t last very long and having finished our starters, the plates were whisked away, in just the perfect time, and that is another bug bear of mine. Have you ever had your plates taken just as you were placing your knife and fork back down and still chewing your last mouthful? me too! and I hate it with a passion, it makes you feel like you are in the way and they are trying to get rid of you as soon as possible. Then of course there is the opposite, plates sat in front of you for 20 minutes as you sit watching the fat congeal from your buttery mushrooms, utterly yucky! so, it is with pleasure that I state they were taken at the perfect time, during that perfect window of not too hastily and not too languidly.
Our mains arrived and much the same as the starters they were delicious in every way. I never felt over faced by the quantity of food, it was just right, my salmon was moist and the asparagus sweet which just goes to show that they have fresh, fresh produce as anyone knows asparagus goes starchy and dull if it hangs around too long. Esra’s steak (I did mention he was an American didn’t I?) was beautifully done and he was very pleased with his choice. The portions were such that I still had room for a dessert, which isn’t usually the case. We both had almond profiteroles (a first for Es) and as I just casually happened to mention it was Esra’s birthday his came with a little candle in it and a ‘Happy Birthday’ written in chocolate, understated but nice touch.
We finished with a couple of liquor coffees and paid the bill and left a very well deserved tip. There were only three other couples in that evening, which seemed a shame for such a beautiful restaurant, but they have been around a great number of years so they must be getting enough covers. I must admit a Tuesday evening is probably not the best time to judge and they are possibly packed at weekends.
We toddled merrily out of the restaurant having had a wonderful evening, the company (of course) but more importantly for you, the readers, the food. A well deserved award I would say and I would encourage anyone who is in the vicinity of Dunster to make a special trip for this restaurant, I really don’t think you would be disappointed.
Reeves Restaurant, 20-22 High Street, Dunster, Nr Minehead, Somerset
Phone: 01643 821414