We thought we’d try The Lazy Dog, on Ashley Down Road, for a Friday date night/first week back at work pick-me-up. They don’t take bookings, but we headed up on the off-chance, and we were lucky to get a get a seat*! It’s very popular, although when we arrived it was mostly just people having a drink (it is a pub, after all). The atmosphere had a modern pub feel to it, it was cozy and friendly, nice and informal (just how we like it). Oh and there are lots of pictures of dogs, as well as it being a very dog-friendly pub. I met a nice Border Terrier so added points for that too. Am a sucker for a pooch.
*I didn’t realise there was an upstairs seating area too. Duh.
The pub has been around for donkey’s years (it opened in the 1850s, history fans) and is owned by the same people who run The Windmill, Windmill Hill and The Pipe & Slippers, Stokes Croft. The bar is in the middle of the pub, with a few tables surrounding and then several more intimate booths. There’s a garden as well, but it was dark and raining so we didn’t venture out there. It’s January, let’s stay inside as much as possible.
Now for the important bit. The scran. This is way more interesting than your standard pub food, with an ever changing menu by Head Chef Elisabeth Julienne (of previous two-Michelin starred restaurants in Spain, no less). They had a selection of small plates and then loads of mains to choose from.
We shared a small plate of cod, parsley and garlic tempura with aioli (£6) to start which was delightful. Really light batter, wonderfully garlicky ailoi, good portion size. Washed down with a very nice Shiraz too. Yes I know a white wine would’ve been better suited to cod, but I don’t care. We don’t play by the rules here.
For the main, I plumped for the duck leg with mash, kale and duck sauce (no I don’t know what was in that either, but it made me think of that catchy song that was out a few years ago by Duck Sauce, where they just said “Barbara Streisand” over and over again) which was £11. Let me tell you, kale never tasted so good, and it’s January, so we’re supposed to be eating kale anyway. The duck was gorgeous. Rich, tasty and tender, paired wonderfully with mash. Who doesn’t like mash?
Brad went for the fried buttermilk chicken burger, with fries & pickles (£10). The chicken was tender and came in a bouncy brioche bun. Crispy fries and a very generous amount of pickles too. Good sauce as well, he thinks it had cardamon in which is an interesting touch. It defeated him unfortunately as was a rather large portion!
Other mains included a rabbit & asparagus risotto, whole fried plaice, lamp rump and The Lazy Dog burger, among others so there’s a wide choice.
Overall, we’re really glad we went as the food is surprisingly good, it’s definitely more gastro-pub than pub, with a nice laid-back feel. Recommended!