Sunday, September 23

Dines Out: The Independent

- August 13, 2018

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Phew, it’s been a scorcher and nothing brings us out of the house and dining al fresco more than that. On a fine evening Ms C & Ms McD declared it a fine idea to pop to The Independent for dinner. We’ve been and always been impressed by the well cooked food and great range of beers, so it seemed a good idea, and the option of a terrace out front was equally appealing. Their menu is sensibly small, changes frequently and is seldom the victim of food fads or fashions.

On this occasion Ms McD and I were immediately drawn to the same two dishes. Well what’s not to like about crispy squid served with a fragrant tarragon sauce? I love squid and remember the days back in pre-history when the much missed Latin In The Lane would simply griddle it – total perfection. Well for once that element of perfection was matched, not by cooking in the same way but by achieving that difficult balance of crisp and tender. We were both impressed.

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Ms C was not taken by the starters and after contemplating the option of a pud later tendered the concept of starting with the cheese platter. Unconventional maybe but it certainly put a huge smile on her face, in part because the selection of cheeses was simple and of great quality but also because the portions were more than generous. We are all tired of minuscule slices of cheese served on huge plates with “artisanal” crackers with the charm of cork coasters. No, this hit the spot and served as starter and then after her main course as a final course. For main course she chose the burger, a fine example of the kind that went down more than well, especially as she was allowed to select skinny fries as opposed to chunky chips.

What really impressed is the honesty of this food

Ms McD and I had spotted the lamb gigot which came with roasted new potatoes and courgette and an excellent mint salsa. It was a more than generous slab of lamb leg, served on the bone and despite being a little past the promised pink it was both tender and very tasty. What really impressed though is the honesty of this food and the generosity of the portions. It may not be the cheapest pub food in town but the quality is very impressive and there’s none of the pretence we all too often find, where dishes appear to have been designed rather than cooked and designed for dolly portions.

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Whilst there I was also taken to book all three of us in for their beer tasting breakfast event on Saturday August the 25th – a full English followed by three artisan brewers and their beers. I can think of few better, and perhaps dangerous, ways to start a summer’s weekend.

95 Queen’s Park Road, Brighton BN2 0GH O1273 602822
theindependent.pub


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