The Runcible Spoon

28 03 2011

From where I was sitting in the Runcible Spoon on Friday lunchtime, I could see the huge mural painted on a wall above Sofa Riot, dominated by the words “Think Local” and also having an understandable dig at Bristol City Council for their refusal to listen to the people of Stokes Croft and environs and granting Tesco permission to open on the Cheltenham Road.

Work has now started on converting the former Jesters comedy club into the latest Tesco in Bristol. But meanwhile, further down the road, “think local” still means something.

There is nothing new anymore about being a seasonal restaurant using local produce, but the Runcible Spoon can claim to fulfil these criteria better than most.

As we wrote about when the Runcible Spoon first announced it would be taking over the former Cafe Kino on Nine Tree Hill, the aim here is to offer affordable, high-quality modern seasonal British food, all sourced from local small-scale growers, with the menu changing on a daily basis.

Friday’s lunchtime menu was chalked above the original fireplace in the small upstairs room. The limited choices included cream of cauliflower soup, squash croquettes, roast pork shoulder sandwich, duck offal on toast, wild garlic pesto tagliatelle and a ploughmans. Prices ranged from £3 for the soup to £6 for the ploughmans.

I chose the tagliatelle, wonderfully vibrant with thin slices of cheese and tasting so fresh. Some of the people behind the Runcible Spoon were also behind last year’s pop-up Cloak & Dinner restaurant in the centre, and my spies tell me that much of the food can be compared to what was served there, simple yet fabulous.

Upstairs at the Runcible Spoon there is a corner table that can seat five at a squeeze, as well as the window pews. The room is simply decorated, with a large white flower, red lamp and selection of small carved wooden spoons. There are also books on the walls stored in old wooden wine crates.

Downstairs is accessed via a narrow passageway, sadly now bereft of the artwork that was once here when this was the home of Cafe Kino, but now with a ceiling painted in flowing red and white stripes like an awning blowing in the wind. There is space for more tables down here, but not many, with an intimate feel and the only light coming from a small window at street level.

After the arrival of some big names in the food world opening this year within a mile radius of each other in Clifton (Cote, The Muset by Ronnie and Jamie’s Italian), The Runcible Spoon is a breath of fresh air. Think local.

The Runcible Spoon, 3 Nine Tree Hill, Kingsdown, Bristol. 0117 329 7645.



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