Raising the tone of neighbourhood restaurants in trendy Stockbridge, Purslane offers fine dining at a pretty fine price.
It's rare to find a place where you can feel confident about ordering a chicken breast, but Paul Gunning's Purslane is one of them. In the hands of this experienced chef, the everyday staple is enhanced by sautéed wild mushrooms, baby turnips, shards of crispy pancetta, aubergine purée and moreish foams. With a jus to tie it all together, the dish is simply sensational. It’s just one of the many surprises found in this understated Stockbridge gem. Down a flight of stairs, the bijou, warmly lit restaurant is inoffensively decorated in neutral tones; it’s soon clear that the food does all the talking here. Cheese gougère canapes set the scene, followed perhaps by a moist sea bream amuse-bouche. Clued-up diners might opt for the five or seven-course tasting menu to ease decision making. They both feature intensive bursts of flavour delivered in a selection of sized-down à la carte dishes, such as plump scallops with freshly diced peppers and dollops of a tangy romesco sauce or a refined take on a comforting and smoky Cullen skink. Take it easy on the extras, though: the hazelnut parfait with gingerbread, brandy snap and frozen yoghurt is a masterpiece worth saving room for.
- Provides: Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Easy listening, classics
- Capacity: 18-24
- Largest group: 28
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 67
- House wine: £22 per bottle
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