A Snow Day -Flinty Red, Bristol

There's something about a Snow Day that makes people giddy. Waking up to a pristine blanket of white and that strange sound of muffled silence, used to fill me with great joy. Now, crochety adult that I am, I no longer punch the air, but groan at the prospect of a slip-slidy journey into work and generalised chaos.

Our Snow Day silver lining came in the form of Flinty Red. Running late to meet friends after a trudge to and from work, we thought we might grab a bite to eat on the way. As we passed it, we peered into the window on the off chance they had some cancellations. And, as luck would have it, there was a sign on the door encouraging walk-ins.

Thoroughly indecisive about what to choose from the menu, we eventually plumped for the fennel, orange and olive salad and a plate of onglet with grilled leeks to share. The salad was deliciously simple; the mandoline thin crunch of anise from the fennel with sweet refreshing citrus, salty olive and a hint of chilli, all dressed with a fruity olive oil.

Butter soft onglet arrived a deep burgundy at its centre, with a charred savoury crust on the outside. There was the merest hint of Roquefort butter; just enough to suggest the taste of blue cheese but not enough to over power the main event. Served with sweet grilled leeks and herb breadcrumbs, the flavours and textures married well.

For dessert we shared the blood orange and rhubarb meringue. Glossy with a chewy almost marshmallow centre, the meringue was filled with blood orange curd and pale pink strips of rhubarb poached with ginger. We accompanied this with a glass of chilled dessert wine, something that we rarely order but hey, it was a Snow Day. Les Trois Schistes was bursting with quince, pineapple and peach. I'd have happily sipped on that for the rest of the evening but, people to see and time to go.

For a truly satisfying eating experience in Bristol, you really can't beat Flinty Red. With small plates and large plates, ripe for the sharing, you could graze your way through the entire menu if you so wished. A joint venture with the wine merchants Corks of Cotham, as you might expect, the wine list is extensive and varied, each one available by the glass. If like us you don't know your appellation from your varietal, fret not, the team are more than happy to recommend something without the slightest hint of condescension or disdain. Small and cosy, if it's not a Snow Day, do make sure you book.


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