In May a friend and I were lucky enough to visit the renowned Acorn kitchen in Bath. Proudly holding Viva’s Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant award, Acorn are known for creating inspired plates of veggie and vegan food that show they care not only about animals, but about good food, wine and a cozy atmosphere.
Set just aside from the beautiful Bath Abbey, we were tucked away in a corner to discover the delights of vegetarian fine dining. Each course was paired with wine, and the relaxed service and cuby-hole feel of the seating made for a dreamy evening that exceeded expectations.
To start we had the Wye Valley Asparagus with a mushroom parfait, dill, hazelnut and a light pickle. Decedent and indulgent, especially considering it was both vegan and gluten free, this plate balanced flavours perfectly- the mushroom parfait was rich and creamy, the asparagus perfectly cooked, and the pickle gave a light-ness to the otherwise heavy elements of the dish that could become overpowering.
I chose the Calabrese Broccoli seared and dressed with truffle, with cauliflower panna cotta and pickled kohlrabi (pictured above). Broccoli is one of my favourite ingredients- and it was not let down in this equally indulgent dish. Almost caramelised when seared, and served with a perfect cauliflower panna cotta, you could mistake this veggie dish for a pudding were it not for the tangy morsels of kohlrabi that brought the whole thing together and gave a zing to each mouthful.
After an indulgent starter things only took a more decadent turn. Smoked Winchester Agnoletti, with king oyster mushrooms, in a rich mushroom emulsion with celeriac and monksbeard- no meat needed for this flavour-heavy dish. Perfectly cooked pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce, oozing with smoked cheese and layered with more mushrooms… This is truly special pasta, full of the kind of flavour that makes you groan in disbelief with every mouthful.
For a more delicate (ish) option, the carrot and cashew pate with roasted onion, and ‘seven seeds and grains’. This vegan option was stunning to look at- a plate full of colour and texture that was (almost) too good to eat. The pate was smooth and full of flavour, and the grains weren’t too heavy, perfectly matching the other delicate details of the dish.
To finish we shared a chocolate and coffee parfait, with a pink peppercorn crumb. Dense, as vegan desserts often are, this was maybe not the best way to end such a heavy and decedent meal- perhaps a lighter option would have been wiser, but the espresso parfait and chocolate ganache bar were executed well, and the flavours were balanced, if a little heavy (despite, like most things on this menu, being gluten free).
Overall, this was a truly brilliant meal, that in no way needs to be prefixed with ‘vegetarian’. For a special evening, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, or if you just want to celebrate in-season produce, Acorn offer the best.
To find out more and to book a table, click here.