Going out for dinner is one of my favourite things – I know, you’re falling off your chair with surprise. I love everything about it – the anticipation, reading reviews, looking at the menu online to work out exactly what I’ve got to look forward to. The atmosphere, the buzz and the candlelight, whiling away a whole evening eating and drinking the most delicious things. Of course, the part most people don’t enjoy so much is paying the bill – which is why I thought I’d write a little blog post about my favourite place in Bath for a fabulous dinner that won’t break the bank. The atmosphere is great, the food is always absolutely delicious, and you can get a whole three courses for just £17 – what more could you possibly ask for?
As you’ve probably picked up on by now, my number one recommendation for dinner out on a budget is Argyle Street’s lovely French restaurant, Chez Dominique. In typical French style, they offer a spectacular prix fixe menu, every night (including Saturday!) from 5-7pm, and if you like good food you’ve just got to try it. It’s a small place so booking is essential, but it’s elegant and romantic, perfect for an intimate dinner a deux. The interior décor features all sorts of simple but beautiful details – hanging filament bulbs, cobalt blue water glasses, miniature vases on each table, just the size for a single bloom (stunning golden freesias, on the night we visited).
Having settled in with a glass of Merlot, I started with dill and gin cured salmon, served with pickled cucumber and crispbread. I have to tell you right now that just thinking about it is making my mouth water again – the dill and gin with the salmon was exquisite, and the sharp pickled cucumber was the perfect foil for the rich, buttery fish. My dining companion, meanwhile, went for the soup of the day, with sweet potato and coriander – not the most original combination, but it was certainly delicious, with a big hit of fresh citrus flavour from the coriander.
|Steak with golden, melting blue cheese butter – how can you possibly resist?|
Next, I ordered the onglet steak with Roquefort butter, which is a regular feature on the Chez Dominique menu and for good reason – it’s a real crowd pleaser. The steak was perfectly cooked, pink and juicy, and the combination with the blue cheese was gloriously indulgent – I mopped up every little drop of the butter with my fries until my plate was spotless. However, although this is pretty much always what I choose at Chez Dominique, I have to say I really enjoyed my dining companion’s choice as well (yes, I get to try that too, perks of being a reviewer) – a beautiful light risotto with broad beans, ricotta and fresh oregano (top image). The bitter note of the broad beans was just the thing to balance out the richness of the risotto, and I’m definitely going to be having a go at recreating this in my own kitchen.
Finally, for dessert, I had a wonderful blood orange sorbet – after all that richness, it was a lovely palate-cleanser, sharp and fresh. It actually went really well with my companion’s choice, a perfect vanilla crème brulee with a crunchy golden top, so if they’re both on the menu, I would definitely recommend getting one of each to share.
|Blood orange sorbet, the perfect end to a fabulous meal|
Chez Dominique is one of our favourite places to go and this latest visit did not disappoint in the slightest – the meal was delicious from start to finish and the service, as always, was excellent. If you’re looking to treat yourself without breaking the bank, then I can’t recommend it highly enough. You do have to eat rather early, but on a lovely summer evening, simply combine it with a romantic after-dinner stroll through the city and you’ve got the perfect date night. Bon appetit!