GG Madden checks out The Curve
Curve is one of the few places in
Brighton I had yet to visit for even a coffee. The Gaudi-esque
exterior, witty curves and 'meeja' clientele never really
appealed. And the 'one stop shop' look and feel of bar, internet
café mezzanine and restaurant makes me sceptical about the
likelihood of getting good, interesting food. But enough of my
hangs ups - I was wrong on virtually every count.
The food at Curve is definitely not
secondary to the drinking and surfing facilities. Starters of
homemade mackerel pate (£3.95) and warm goat's cheese salad
(£5.95) shattered aforementioned prejudices. The pate was packed
with lemon and herbs and light enough to eat in spoonfuls when the
toast inevitably ran out. The roasted sweet pepper awash with
garlic provided a vibrant backdrop to a large roundel of goat's
cheese oozing over its crostini perch.
The seafood and vegetarian platter
also proved a success (£14 for two). Mixing and matching
fishcakes, seared tuna, garlic king prawns and rissoto cakes was
not only fun but a reviewer's dream. Discussion ensued over
premium consistency for fishcakes (these were very wet) and how
many seconds the tuna had tarried in the pan. The waitress had
mentioned the tuna came rare, fortunately it was absolutely fresh
and entirely edible. A warm chocolate and hazelnut croissant
pudding (£3.95) was essentially bread and butter pudding gone up
in the world. This carbo loading exercise was given a sheen of
sophistication with chilled crème anglaise and delicate fruit
adornment. Delicious and substantial enough for two.
Drinks: Sensible wine list from variety of regions, all reasonably
priced and available by the glass; champagne, good selection of
spirits, beers and coffees too.
Atmosphere: Wavy open plan with a buzz, including much mobile
phone activity. Irritation aside, I would be mortified if my
dining companions should tolerate diversion from the food and
scintillating humour. Am I really in the minority on this one?
Facilities: Internet café, kid's menu, highchairs, baby changing
and a disabled toilet. Curve is available for private hire.
Curve Bar and Brasserie
45 Gardner Street
Tel: 01273 603031
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 11 pm; Sunday 11 am to 9
Breakfast served until 4 pm; snacks and light meals until 7.30pm.
A flowering first
Veggie best at Snowdrop Inn
by Jerry Lebens
The Snowdrop Inn is in Lewes - just
a short drive up the A27, or there's a train about every half
hour, evenings, and a return costs £3. Then it's a ten minute
walk to the pub. Do get directions as it's easy to get lost, but
you will know when you've arrived. The quirky exterior is Rodin
meets Hammer House of Horror. Dropping into a Peter Cushing set
ten minutes after the kitchen closes (9pm), is probably a bad
idea. We approached the bar cautiously, but fortunately it was a
warm welcome. Matt, Nasim and Magda on the bar cajoled the cook,
Polly, back into the kitchen. Big wet Thank Yous all round.
Nothing too much trouble. Phew!
The Snowdrop has a gory past that I
won't spoil for you. There's a potted history on the wall - let
the kids read it on a snowy afternoon and it should keep them
quiet till pudding. It's a free house so the beer, sorry ale, is
inviting and good - Harvey's, of course, and currently Hopback's
Summer Lightening and Ringwood's Old Thumper.
The Menu is a thriftily priced
meander from Pacific rim to traditional via the Mediterranean.
It's organic, wherever possible, GM free and with vegan options.
Snackettes start at £1.50 and traipse daintily through Pittas
(£2.00) to Pizzas (£5.50). See the blackboard for daily specials
I needed a special to recover with,
and chose Mushroom and Stilton Pie with chips and salad (£5.50).
The other side of the table sized up to Thai Curry with tofu,
brown rice and salad (£5.50). The pie was a rich wholemeal affair
with A1 chips. Nice curry, mild and coconutty with toothsome veg.
Even the salads earned an honourable mention. Large portions. All
in all a reviewer's delight.
The wine list is short - Marcel
Hubert house red or white (£6), J P Chenet French Chardonnay
(£10) and Cranswick Australian Shiraz 1998 (£10). The Chardonnay
went down a treat.
Puds. The other side of the table
annexed the Chocolate Cake with cream (£3.50). In the cause of
truth and diversity I sampled the organic Apple Crumble with
custard (£3.50). The crumble was lovely and the cake may have
been even better, but then we'll never know for sure, cause I
didn't get none. And the trains run till after midnight - just so
you don't have to run.
Drinks: It's a pub, so whatever you fancy.
Atmosphere: Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the
Vegan options: Make the vegetarians feel guilty.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12-3 pm & 6-9pm
Sun 12.30-3pm & 7-9pm
The Snowdrop Inn
119 South Street, Lewes BN7 2BU
copyright New Insight 2001