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al la Colthard/Pascere

It’s tough for a new aspiring restaurant to impose itself in Brighton. The units are either too small or, in the case of the Marina too big and thus incurring large rents and service charges eating into profit margins. Obviously the converse applies if it’s too small: you don’t get enough diners. 64 Degrees is an example of a tiny restaurant in the Lanes serving imaginative food that quickly made a niche for itself but others have not fared so well.

Pascere (Latin for nourish) has a central location on the periphery of the Lanes in a pedestrianised shopping street next to a shop She Said selling upmarket erotica … I did bit of window shopping and even this old trout could excite his man in one of their bodices !!!

Pascere was a restaurant I always intended to visit but did so after a friend sent me a highly favourable review when Giles Coren visited it with Gary Lineker.

It’s neither too big nor small being on two levels. The greeting was friendly. I objected to disclosing my age when I made the internet booking and our waitress asked me how I heard of the place.

The waitress knew the menu well and gave us a helpful steer on the wines with which to down the food. This was good training.

My guest, with whom I have a regular lunch, immediately ordered the small starters: roast cauliflower croquettes, chicken croquettes, trout with horseradish and most delicious of all Portland crab tart with shellfish custard. I approve of shared platters and these got off to a fine start as did the Argentinian Pinot Noir.

For mains we both chose halibut in a chowder sauce. The halibut was a tad bland and I was expecting more chowder.

If I had minor criticism the menu description over elaborated the dishes.

There was room for a bitter orange sorbet and three morsels of differently divine chocolate. A nice touch: petit fours were served with coffee and my mint tea. The final bill was £127 and I added an extra £10 to the gratuity.

I can see why Giles liked the restaurant so much. I shall certainly return. I might even have time to visit the erotica shop first !!!

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts