Taste Buds magazine samples the menu at the bustling Waterside Bistro in Totnes, Devon
It was a bright early summer’s evening when we visited the Waterside Bistro in Totnes. Located on The Plains on the banks of the River Dart, the Bistro has a relaxed, informal atmosphere and even on a Tuesday evening when we went, the place was buzzing with life.
There is plenty of seating outside by the water’s edge but our table was inside at a cosy table for two, lit by candlelight in a quiet corner of the restaurant. It’s a great spot to soak up the atmosphere: couples coming and going, large parties arriving for a celebratory meal – everyone is welcome here.
There is a definite continental feel to the Waterside Bistro that is reflected in the menu as much as the ambience. Owners Matt and Delphine Buzzo, who are English and French respectively, create dishes with a European flavour such as fresh fish, stonebaked pizzas, delicious pastas and Italian salads, as well as classic French fish soup.
We were shown to our table by a friendly waitress and soon our starters arrived. I chose the grilled goats’ cheese on toasted focaccia bread, which was really full of flavour and a good-sized portion, while the rocket with sun-dried tomato and pesto balanced the taste of the dish. My partner chose the fish soup which was rich and delicious with a garlicky rouille, with large croutons and gruyère cheese to melt into it.
We both chose our main courses from the specials menu. I chose the succulent pan-fried fillets of seabass, which came with skinny French fries. The other main course was rainbow trout served whole. My partner described its taste as sweet, pink flesh that fell off the bone – I guess that says it all! An unusual touch was the choice of sauces to accompany the fish - chilli oil (which we both had), tartare sauce, or garlic butter.
I didn’t think I had room for dessert but managed (minus one or two spoonfuls that my wife helped herself to) the rhubarb crumble. I am so glad I did as it was one of the nicest I’ve ever tasted. It had an oat crumble topping and the combination of cinnamon, hot rhubarb and cold vanilla ice cream was heaven.
Despite being quite busy, the staff at the Waterside Bistro were consistently friendly and helpful and raved about the food. This adds to the overall experience and we will certainly be eating here again.
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