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Monday, 13 December 2010

The RSC Key takes a look at the RSC Rooftop Restaurant

Rooftop Restaurant Review
RSC's new dining experience sits head and shoulders above Stratford's other restaurants.

By Daniel Douglas

With well over fifty options for an evening meal within the town, it's very difficult for a restaurant in Stratford-Upon-Avon to offer something new. The RSC's recently opened Rooftop Restaurant, however, does exactly that. Situated on the third floor of the newly refurbished building, it offers stunning views and exceptional food in a stylish and unique setting.

Sitting amongst the Art Deco furniture, under fantastically high ceilings and soft lighting, the place oozes understated elegance and sophistication. The restaurant curves dramatically around the building in a sweeping arc; long, thin and graceful, with a bar at either end. It's evening, and the floor to ceiling glass panels which look out onto the town are peppered with tiny lights from the streets below. The relic wall, dark red brick on one side, whitewashed on the other, divides the space, giving a close, intimate feel to what is in fact a very large area (the restaurant's full capacity is over 100). The wall also evokes history, and is one of many aspects of the Rooftop Restaurant that blends past and present.

The menu itself brings together innovation and tradition, with starters such as seared skate and pork cheek with butternut squash and raisin relish, main courses like Middle White pork fillet with butter poached potato, apple and black pudding, and desserts such as baked ginger parkin with rosemary syrup and beer sorbet. Unusual cuts of meat, rare breeds, regional cooking and eyebrow-raising combinations come together to make an exciting and original menu.

Wherever possible, ingredients are locally sourced, from the Cotswolds and the Vale of Evesham, for example. The menu changes regularly, and an effort is made to include seasonal produce. Every recipe is resolutely British-sounding, even to the point of being ludicrous; the undeniably French créme brulée is disguised under the pseudonym of Cornish burnt cream.

Everything I ate was excellent, and I cannot wait to return. The food is beautifully presented, and the flavours well-balanced. The sirloin of beef with cashel blue potato cake and baby beetroot was truly delicious; tender, succulent and bursting with flavour. The chocolate mousse with tangerine compote and hazelnut brittle (pictured) looked and tasted wonderful; the richness of the chocolate contrasting with the acidity of the tangerine and the crunchy, nutty hazelnut. The service was efficient, polite, patient and knowledgeable. A special mention must be given to the cocktails, which were absolutely first class, and far better prepared than anywhere else in Stratford. So, if you're 18 or over, take a seat at the bar and enjoy one after your meal. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

In terms of price, a meal for two could cost upwards of £100, but with the fixed price menu offering two courses for £14.95 and three courses for £17.95, eating here doesn't have to break the bank. RSC Key members, don't forget that you are eligible for a 10% discount on all food and drink at the Rooftop Restaurant.

To make a reservation visit www.rsc.org.uk/visit-us/stratford/rooftop-restaurant, or call 01789 403449.
           

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