67 Queens Road, Penarth. 029 2071 0615 / www.knifeandforkfood.co.uk
The ever expanding Knife & Fork group have added yet another string to their bow with the recent opening of The New Pilot in Penarth. Off the beaten track in a residential area, this once tired den of iniquity has been completely renovated, spruced up and given a new lease of life not too dissimilar to their already extremely popular Conway restaurant in Pontcanna -– a mix of contemporary furniture, a smattering of comfy sofas, and a huge log burner which adds comfort to the modern refit.
We dined on a blustery Thursday evening when the menu was a pleasant mix of fish of the day, hearty favourites and homemade dishes. For starters we chose flaked, smoked and poached mackerel with beetroot, apple and salad alongside a chicken and pancetta terrine with cherry tomato mayonnaise. We were also given a sample of salmon rillette for our main courses of pan-fried salmon, white bean puree, broad beans and a parsley jus, and a pan-fried grey mullet with chorizo and tomato ragu. Before we burst on the spot, we were convinced to try the trio of desserts: chocolate ganache, vanilla pana cotta and caramel sauce – the caramel sauce being the rather misleading third ingredient of the trio. However, it was spectacular, as was the whole experience.
The food is prepared fresh and the menu changes regularly with top notch quality and service. The staff need a mention, too, as they were all a delight and very polite and friendly. Another success for a locally grown food company, The New Pilot is encouraging and deserves support. ANTONIA LEVAY