Dine Local was invited to the Stone Steakhouse yesterday, to sample a selection of the new menu, and we can say without doubt that you will not be disappointed. The range of starters took influence from around the world, with the emphasis on getting the basics right. As you would expect from a Steakhouse the steaks were sublime, each prime cut cooked to perfection served with all the usual accompaniments including home made chips, home made onion rings, grilled tomato and mushrooms with a delightful peppercorn sauce, the photographs below offer a glimpse of the quality you can expect at one of the best restaurants in Stone.
Simplicity and consistency are par for the course throughout the menu which included classic starters such as Garlic and Lemon King Prawns served with an Asian style micro salad and a smoked paprika aioli, a typical example of what getting the basics right means at the Stone Steakhouse. Consultant Chef Sam Giliker said:
‘We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we want to get these dishes absolutely right, the difference between a good meal and a great meal is getting the simple things spot on’.
The jumbo king prawns were succulent and meaty – full of flavour, complimented nicely with the traditional lemon and garlic flavours but the delightful crisp salad, with a zingy, Asian style dressing lifted the dish in a way that was unexpected, the salad had a taste all of its own which enhanced the taste of the prawns. The smoked paprika aioli finished this dish perfectly; a light, tangy and refreshing dip to bring the dish together.
There were some excellent starters to choose from including Goan Chicken Skewers, Crab and Chilli Linguine, which were both outstanding. Caramelised pear with Black Sticks blue cheese tart served on dressed rocket was a sweet treat with texture and flavour surprises, and the innovative starter of Parma ham crisps and new potato salad served with rocket and a poached duck egg yolk was a fantastic dish with superb presentation.
For the mains we tried the pressed pork belly served with dauphinoise potatoes, roasted root vegetables and a cider cream, this was the highlight following a unanimous vote from the Dine Local team. A winning combination of delicious belly pork with the crunchiest crackling, tender flesh melting in the mouth, complimented with a selection of hearty seasonal root vegetables including carrots, parsnips and beetroot. The creamy dauphinoise the perfect accompaniment to a well judged and balanced dish. A man size winter warmer!
The two vegetarian options that we got to taste were also of a very high standard and impressed with their inventiveness and clever use of ingredients. A wholesome and filling wild mushroom rigatoni served in a white wine and tarragon sauce, topped with parmesan shavings offered as a main course came in a substantial portion, with a wonderful choice of three mushrooms, shitake, shimeji and yellow oyster gave the dish depth of flavour. The warm goats cheese and red onion gallette served with herb roasted new potatoes and dressed leaves demonstrated a thoughtful approach to presenting the pastry, the gallette is a weighted down puff pastry which gives the pastry its firm but crisp texture, a skilful touch. The red onion was presented as a fruity and moreish marmalade which contrasted nicely with the sharp goat’s cheese. A useful dish on a menu that by definition leans towards the carnivore.
Finally, with little room remaining, we encountered a just two of the new possibilities for the desert menu. Sticky toffee pudding served with vanilla cream and coconut butterscotch was the first to be delivered to the table, and thoughts of stodgy, thick gloop, reminiscent of school dinners, soon diminished, as a beautiful plate featuring a neat and tidy square of light, almost brownie like sticky toffee pudding arrived surrounded by vibrant colours of deep purple and honey yellow streaks. The taste was superlative, an intelligent take on a traditional pudding. The mini meringues with pistachio cream, honey baked figs and saffron syrup were divine. The meringues with a subtly sweet texture due to their being made with balsamic vinegar gave this dessert a deceptive maturity, along with the warmth of the honey baked figs.