The Daffodil is an award-winning Cheltenham restaurant situated in Montpellier, which serves Michelin-standard European cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients, with the kitchen led by head chef Tom Rains.
Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday, diners can choose from an elegant a la carte menu at The Daffodil, as well as from a fixed price menu which is available every lunchtime and early evening. Plus, on a Monday evening, diners can also soak up acclaimed live jazz over dinner.
Converted from a 1920s art deco picture house, the stylish restaurant offers a unique and dramatic setting for dining and private parties, retaining its original name and many of its period features – including sweeping staircases and stunning views from the Circle Bar, where classic cocktails and champagne can be enjoyed.
Tuesday 4 June 2013
Tuck into a two-course lunch and indulge in a spot of retail therapy at The Daffodil’s monthly Ladies Lunch event, with...
Not content with its enviable reputation for fine dining, art deco opulence and even jazz, The Daffodil in Cheltenham has now set its sights on serving the best steak for miles around. SoGlos set out to discover just how good a steak could be.
Promising the best steak in the south west was certainly a bold move, but with a brand spanking new Josper grill taking pride of place in The Daffodil’s kitchen, we soon found out that the carnivorous confidence was well placed.
Rumoured to have cost more than a luxury car, on our bustling Monday evening visit to the Cheltenham eatery we were surprised the shiny new investment wasn’t shouted about more loudly on the menu – with just a trio of new grill items sitting unassumingly alongside the a la carte favourites.
With a single steak option, and a hankering for a hunk of beef, the 10 oz rib eye was always going to be my male counterpart’s first choice – and to say that he wasn’t disappointed when this juicy cut arrived at the table, would be an understatement of epic proportions.
Branded with masculine criss-cross markings, and cooked slightly more than the rare he’d asked for, his knife glided effortlessly through the moist, pink beef which (although this term is ridiculously overused) really did melt in the mouth – flavoured with the deep smoky undertones only cooking over charcoal can provide.
Served with a bowl of moreish truffle chips, tomatoes on the vine and a sauce boat full of thick béarnaise, as he waxed lyrical about the complexities of the beef’s flavour, I admit I was sceptical. If you’ve had one good steak you’ve had them all I was convinced, until the frugal forkful my dining companion begrudgingly shared proved succulently otherwise and I was soon hinting for another try.
A fork of my own grilled salmon fillet proved a tempting and almost equal swap – similarly proving altogether more sensational thanks to its treatment in the barbeque-come-oven, arriving on restaurant-branded china complete with crackly skin and juicy hunks of moist fish in the middle.
While it can be difficult to get excited about a humble piece of salmon that many of us bake at home, served with a subtle hollandaise and sweeter-than-sweet artichokes, the dish was a fishy delight outranking any of our DIY attempts hands down.
Before the main courses, we had also tucked into exceptional starters – including a generous bowl of steaming porcini mushroom and cacao risotto, which was rich and woody-flavoured, well-textured, delightfully creamy and topped with shavings of salty parmesan. While my partner enjoyed an altogether more delicate crab and apple salad, served with lightly toasted bread.
Dessert didn’t let The Daffodil’s reputation down either, particularly the slice of baked egg custard tart with a sharp rhubarb compote which was an old fashioned treat which we both fought over, while the scoops of juicy homemade passion fruit and chunky cassis sorbet also proved a pleasing end to a successful dinner.
Sat in a semi-circle booth with sensational views over the buzzing restaurant – which my dining companion said made him feel like a Mafia don – the vintage sounds of jazz performed by John Paul Gard and the Hammond Corporation added a lively soundtrack to the evening.
The art deco decor was stunning, the atmosphere was celebratory and the service was good – all reasons in their own right that The Daffodil has become renowned as a first rate restaurant – but the pièce de résistance was the rib eye, the best steak we’d tasted in the south west without a doubt.
By Michelle Fyrne
Monday 07 February 2011
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