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Restaurant review - The Coast, Prestbury

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:47 21 May 2016

The Coast restaurant at Prestbury

The Coast restaurant at Prestbury

not Archant

The Coast, a success story in Tarporley, has now opened in Prestbury, and is sure to be a real asset to the village

The Coast restaurant at Prestbury The Coast restaurant at Prestbury

Last summer, a national newspaper reported that residents of Prestbury were complaining it has become a ‘ghost’ village as celebrities moved in, pushed up prices but shopped and ate elsewhere, resulting in businesses deserting the village and leaving locals with nowhere to go.

Even allowing for an element of journalistic licence (a sprinkling of fairy dust as it’s known in the trade) the walk from the neglected railway station past too many seemingly abandoned premises - and not enough street lights - confirms the essence of the story.

But things are changing as this spring, Prestbury has received a positive shot in the arm with the opening of The Coast, a second branch of the successful and stylish Italian bar-restaurant that’s won much praise in the not-too-dissimilar Cheshire village of Tarporley. And on a Tuesday night in the fourth week since opening in the listed former White House, there wasn’t a table to be had. The omens are good.

When I reviewed the Tarporley restaurant, I described its look as resembling the smartest beach hut one could imagine; as if a high-end Abersoch lodge had been somehow sited on the Amalfi coast, whence veteran Anglo-Italian executive chef John Thompson draws inspiration for his menus. I first encountered John more than 30 years ago at the 39 Steps in Manchester since when, among many other things, he played a key role in the conception and launch of the San Carlo group’s fabulously successful Cicchetti restaurants. After 47 years in the business, he was cooking in The Coast’s theatre kitchen with undiminished élan and enthusiasm.

John Thompson, chef at The Coast, Prestbury, at work John Thompson, chef at The Coast, Prestbury, at work

The Prestbury restaurant repeats the coastal theme to some extent with trompe d’oeil white brick wallpaper, bleached wood and wicker chairs; in these surroundings how could we order anything other than fish - a Thompson speciality - for main courses?

But first, excellent starters; simple, but boasting first class ingredients. I had superb, creamy burrata mozzarella partnered by San Daniel Parma ham, grilled aubergines and red peppers and olive oil dressing (£8.95). Mrs K’s funghi ripieni brought mushrooms generously filled with tip-top melted taleggio cheese and garlic butter on a rocket salad dressed with balsamic (£5.95).

My main course lemon sole came with the lightest dusting of crushed dried herbs, served on fennel with a creamy wild mushroom sauce and tenderstem broccoli (£18.95), while opposite, my wife’s fillet of plaice, stuffed with crab meat, prawns, salmon and spinach, gently poached and served with lobster sauce (£16.85) was a real show stopper. Both slightly retro in style, the dishes delivered on all counts as did the lemon tart we shared for dessert with its side of mascarpone infused with lemon zest (£7). We drank highly quaffable Australian house chardonnay for £19.95. The Coast is inviting Prestbury’s ship to come in.

The Coast, Prestbury, Cheshire, SK10 4DG; Tel: 01625 820024; www.thecoast.uk.com

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