I can’t remember the last time my husband and I had a ‘date night’, we’ve had our share of nights out, either together with a group or on our own out with friends, and we’ve had plenty of ‘date nights’ in with the dine in for two from M&S, but a night out just the two of us, hmmm, can’t think of one. That’s pretty bad isn’t it, and it’s not like I don’t like his company!
So as it was his birthday, I’d been a little more organised and I had a babysitter lined up and a table booked at the Market Place in Cowbridge. Despite having had very tasty food there before, I don’t think we’d been there for about five years, so I was looking forward to trying it out again.
When it came to going out on Saturday night, despite the initial urge to get into my pyjamas and watch Strictly, out we went leaving the kids with my mum for the night.
We decided to head into Bar 44 first for a pre-dinner drink, which had a lovely atmosphere with both diners and a couple of people at the bar stopping for a drink.
We then walked back up to the Market Place as our table was booked for 8 o’clock. On entering the restaurant it was just as I had remembered it, traditionally decorated, cosy log fire, stone walls and candlelit tables.
We were shown straight to our table, and I was slightly disappointed to be sat in the middle part of the restaurant, as here there is just one row of tables, and despite their best efforts of making it as cosy as the front and back end of the restaurant, to me it always feels a little like a corridor, a nice one at that. So note to self, next time I book I’ll be asking for a table in the front room.
Also I do have a slight issue with having flyers left on my table about up coming events, it takes away a bit of the magic. For fine dining in such a lovely setting there’s just no need for it. I would suggest that these should be held back and perhaps included in the bill box at the end of the meal.
We were presented with our menu, which had about eight starters and mains on offer, which was plenty to choose from. Starters were all priced at around the £7.00 mark. There was also a very decent wine list to choose from too. We chose a bottle of Merlot, which was full bodied but not too heavy and so went with our menu choices. My only gripe here is that the wine glasses could have been nicer, I prefer a finer wine glass rather than those with a heavier rim (I know, I’m being ultra picky).
My husband opted for the Fish & Chips starter, which had a battered and breaded fish portion, a few properly cooked chips all served with a tartar sauce and a chip shop curry sauce. He said it was really nice, a posh take on a firm favourite.
I chose the Pork Rissole, which was served with a salad garnish and a tasty relish. The outside coated in breadcrumbs was nice and crisp and not at all greasy, and the inside had plenty of tasty meat. They were delicious, real comfort food and I could have just tucked into them all night.
Then for mains! I chose the Seabass fillet, with crushed new potatoes , pancetta and a salsa verde (£18.95). The fish was cooked to perfection, seasoned and crispy skin with succulent and tasty fish. The sauce and salsa verde (a mix of herbs, garlic and oil) complemented the dish perfectly.
My husband opted for the Pork Belly, with mashed potato, apple compote and crackling (£17.50). He’s very fussy about his crackling, but said that it was particularly good, with the right amount of crunch. The sauce was lovely and rich and had a perfect sheen to it. Whilst my meal was really very nice, I was slightly envious of his choice, as it just looked so delicious.
After the starters and the mains, there was no way I could squeeze in a desert. I was ready to burst, so I was a little surprised that my husband piped up that he was tempted. As the deserts were mainly cake consistency, like Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate and Beetroot Sponge, he chose the Cheese and Biscuits.
The Cheese Board (£7.95), after such high standards set, was a little disappointing. It was ok, but that’s about it. It was also disappointing that the waiter , who had provided exemplary service all night, did not take the time to explain which cheeses were on the board, although as they were pretty much standard ones it was easy to tell.
I have to say, that the whole evening at the Market Place was a delight, the food was very tasty with some new twists but was not at all pretentious, the atmosphere was lovely and the service was excellent. I can’t wait to go back and I certainly will not be waiting another five years until my next visit!