Pub of the week: The Alma Tavern

17 04 2013

There always seemed to be something of a missed opportunity at the Alma Tavern. It was a Clifton hostelry better known for having a theatre above it than for being a pub. With the help of a lick of paint, that opportunity has now been grasped and the Alma Tavern is slowly becoming known for its food and drink as well as its upstairs theatre.

Pub touches remain. There is a quiz here every Monday. The area at the far end of the bar remains resolutely unchanged other than regularly changing artwork on the walls. There is a piano. And the beer garden only has a few new pieces of furniture.

The real change has come at the front of the pub, with tables laid, tablecloths pressed and wine glasses shining. New head chef Gary Crossan has come up with four distinct menus: bar, lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch.

All mains on the bar menu cost £9.50 and range from the Alma burger (chorizo, Applewood smoked cheddar, beef tomato, baby gem and chunky chips), to “sausages of the moment” with mash, buttered greens and rosemary gravy.

A lunch time special sees one course for £8, two for £10 and three for £12, but it’s in the evening when the stars of the show appear, including Ashton Court venison steak, truffle dauphinoise potato, celeriac puree and port jus (£14), and pan-fried sea bass served with champ potato, braised chicory, rosemary and orange butter and fennel seed beignet (£13).

When I visited on a Thursday afternoon, there were six real ales on tap: Robinson’s Hoptimus Prime, St Austell Tribute, Box Steam Brewery Piston Broke, Bath Ales Gem, Lucky 18 and Sharpe’s Doom Bar.

Alma Tavern beer

The Alma Tavern, 18-20 Alma Vale Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2HY. 0117 973 5171.

www.almatavernandtheatre.co.uk


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