Page 42 - Yeovil Feast Magazine
P. 42

Guildhall Tavern
The Guildhall has to be visited to be believed. It is a little corner of France in a little corner of Old Town Poole. It has a truly authentic feel because it is truly authentic and run by a delightful French couple, Frédéric and Severine who are hands on along with their busy team, of which Sebastian, the e cient maître ‘d come sommelier, is in charge.
If you book by phone you will start to get the picture, very to the point and very French! Another thing you will soon comprehend is the popularity of the restaurant – getting a table is not easy, so do book early.
The restaurant has a nautical feel to it and is almost theatrical, and that animated environment is part of the charm. The sta  are all very passionate about the menu. And that is a production in itself – a bias towards  sh on the menu – as it is a speciality of the kitchen (and the Quay) and interestingly there is a separate vegetarian menu, which is good to see. Our choices and decisions made such as ‘shell on or shell o ’ we dig into the bread and olives that wait at our table.
The escargots come ‘in shell’ with all of the paraphernalia that one would expect and are quite delicious, deeply  avoursome, succulent and full of garlic tones. The tiger prawns ‘shell o ’ are beautifully sautéed in pineapple and mango and are lively thanks to the sweet chilli sauce. Other choices of scallops,  sh soup, and crispy tartlet (both home- made) are also on o er.
Our mains come after an intelligent break between courses – because chef knows that is best and because the restaurant is so very busy...
Mains decisions were pescatarian with the fresh  llet of organic salmon on a mixed stir-fry – a dish with Asian in uences, with just enough expression from the lemongrass and ginger. The salmon fell into succulent  akes and was cooked to perfection. The fresh monk sh medallions ‘lotte a la Normande’ were stunningly presented with a colourful garnish and the cray sh and lobster buttery emulsion just robust enough to stand up to the garlic  avours.
The cheeseboard is substantial and shows o  the best of mature French cheeses, and the desserts, (all home-made), o er Crêpes Suzette, which is a must – tangy orange – more theatre at the table and just mouth-watering. There’s also crème caramel, pro teroles, sorbets, crème brûlée, and native Purbeck ice creams to choose from and a good selection of Cognac too...
The Guildhall is not a budget restaurant with all bar one of the mains over £20 apiece; however, you do get value for money, enthusiastic, and e cient service and some of the best-cooked  sh in the area. Highly recommended and many visit to celebrate special occasions – we say the Guildhall is the special occasion...
01202 671717
15 Market Street, Poole, Dorset. BH15 1NB.

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