The Contented Sole is one of my favourite restaurants and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while. Nestled in the historic and picturesque town of Burnham-on-Crouch, their menu never fails to impress, and last Friday night, Luke and I paid them yet another visit.
G & Ts in hand, we perused the food choices. To start, I went for lobster ravioli with a lemongrass, chilli and ginger broth, followed by stuffed pork tenderloin with beetroot and purple sprouting broccoli (it was from the specials menu and I have forgotten the details!) Luke opted for seared scallops with black pudding, and for main he had Gressingham duck breast with confit of leg, beetroot dauphinoise and celeriac puree. Both of our meals were delicious – the ravioli dish was warming and rich with a robust kick of chilli, and the pork was succulent and well put together. Luke’s scallops were delicate and sweet with a salty tang from the black pudding, and his duck was rich and expertly cooked. The star of the show for him was the beetroot dauphinoise – it made a welcome change from the traditional potato version!
Alongside our meal, we shared a bottle of La Côte Flamenc Picpoul de Pinet 2010. The fresh vibrancy of this wine made it the perfect choice alongside the range of flavours we had across our two courses. With notes of lemon and a crisp minerality, it would also be just as enjoyable without food. Picpoul de Pinet is rapidly becoming my favourite spring grape choice.
Not wishing to be defeated by our already bulging stomachs (the basket of warm, delicious homemade bread we demolished before our starters didn’t help), we decided to tackle pudding. My Amaretto crème brulee was perfection – creamy and subtle (I was quite pleased to discover that I couldn’t taste too much of the almond liqueur). Luke’s slab of dark chocolate torte with Chantilly cream was a little on the dense side for me, but he scoffed it with ease.
If you’re ever in the area, make sure a trip to this award-winning restaurant is way up on your to-do list. During the week, you can opt for the table d’hôte menu offering 1 course for £13.50, 2 for £18.50, and 3 for just £22. Here is a picture of the beautiful surroundings to whet your appetite…