Bedminster’s North Road, just south of the city centre, has become one of the places to open a restaurant. One of its latest additions is COR, which quickly made a name for itself, not only with locals but also in the Michelin guide, thanks to the vibrant and creative dishes that the husband and wife team, Mark and Karen Chapman, have become known for. Inside is light and bright, with one wall displaying cookbooks, large tins of produce, fresh ingredients and plants. The small plates have a Mediterranean influence, but there’s a thread of fine dining woven in thanks to Mark’s training, with dishes like Catalan stew, made up of Cornish hake, Devonshire scallops, clams from Dorset and potatoes, which are brought to life with Spanish spice mix, picada. Finish things off with an orange and nutmeg tiramisu or something from the dedicated cheese plate list.
Address: 81 North St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1ES
Best for: Filled pasta
Dish to order: Cappelletti of crab and ricotta, datterini and saffron consommé
From the Bianchis Restaurant Group, who seem to create faultless neighbourhood pasta restaurants effortlessly, Pasta Ripiena is named after its speciality – freshly stuffed pasta. Mains extend the horizons of filled pasta further than just ravioli – although expect it on the menu with the likes of beetroot, ricotta, walnuts and sage. Branch out with shapes like cappellacci, (it translates to ‘hat’ and looks like a dumpling) or triangoli (no prizes for guessing this shape) with spinach, mascarpone, ‘nduja, prosciutto and spring onions.
Address: 33 St Stephen’s Street, Bristol BS1 1JX
Best for: A celebration dinner
Dish to order: Rosemary gnocchi
Right on the river, Casa is the revamped iteration of the Michelin-starred Casa Mia, Bristol’s most acclaimed restaurant. Owner Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has kept its bouji feel, with its beach club style music and excellent cooking, but has transformed its look and menu. Black walls are now white-washed and mostly bare, save for a couple of Italian scenic paintings, and the previous formal tasting menu is now more accessible and pared back in a traditional Italian style. Among antipasti, meat dishes, seafood and daily specials that are scribbled onto menus, like sardine ragù on focaccia, it’s simple food made for sharing, but cooked and presented to the highest of standards.
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