Page 8 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 8

The Guildhall Tavern
Authentic French restaurants are few and far between, and as The Guildhall Tavern approaches its 18th year on Poole Quay, the tables are as full as they have ever been. If you want to be dining at one of those linen-dressed tables, call owners Frederic and Severine and book early – a tip that is ordinarily saved for a footnote of a review, comes at the very top – as The Guildhall is very, very popular!
The team is exceptionally jolly; they have worked together for the best part of all of those years and are still clearly enjoying every service as much as their guests do.
Taking the rein is Sebastian; the buoyant and entertaining maître’d who is in complete control; behind the bar, tending to tables and generally on top of things wine, menu and le conversation!
The choice is a charming mix of classic French and fresh quayside  sh; whichever way you look at it The Guildhall o ers a timeless menu.
We started o  with a bottle of Saint-Véran Grande Reserve and the complimentary bread, butter and home-marinated olives to assist in menu choices because, as with any menu worth its salt, it is impossible to decide.
The double baked cheese sou é doused with cream, is as light and  u y as could be expected and a regular favourite, and the home-made crispy tartlet of pu  pastry, fresh crab and scallops, and dill cream sauce – simply a master class in pastry and seafood combinations.
The team achieves even with the bottled water; Badoit is a Feast favourite that does not appear often enough.
On to the more important issue of the red wine for the mains – two bottles of Chilean Merlot to pair with an 8oz beef
 llet – that is o ered au poivre but taken medium and sauce free, and a traditional slow-cooked boeuf bourguignon – both with all the trimmings, both so very, very tender.
Then comes the theatre;
as one would expect
from classic French – we
need  ambé – and we get the  rst of the evening’s displays; a stunning chargrilled whole seabass  ambéed at the table with Pernod, remarkable and the envy of surrounding tables – we clearly set a trend and enjoy  re starting around the restaurant! The bass bursting with freshness and not overpowered by the Pernod by any means – very thoughtfully cooked. Sides of French fries, spinach and beans are shared.
As if we haven’t had enough of the tableside attraction, desserts include a Crêpe Suzette which is as good as it gets and a real ‘70’s throwback – that and a glass of Sauternes Recolte d’or 2013 and frankly we could be on the Champs- Élysées. However, The Guildhall is not pretentious, it is honest, humble, and remarkably consistent – and that is consistent in its welcome, classic French cuisine, and bustling popularity.
We reiterate – book early.
www.guildhalltavern.co.uk
01202 671717
15 Market Street
Poole, Dorset, BH15 1NB
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