One Magazine’s Jake Tucker makes his first visit to Exeter’s exclusive new dining quarter for a slice of rustic meets sleek at Queen Street’s pizza, pie and cider house.
Exeter’s long awaited Queen Street dining area has kicked off with huge success, providing food lovers with a great destination to sample new eateries, one of which being Dorset born pizza, pie and cider bar/restaurant The Stable.
Fine food and crafted cider within an alluring atmosphere is the vision, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Boasting a whopping 105 ciders on offer at any time, this really is a haven for cider lovers but also great for those who are new to the drink as there are a number of flavours here that would really surprise you, including a sweet and light Dorset Elderflower variety. Those not knowing where to start can try a cider tasting board, which offers a selection of five different ciders to help you find your perfect tipple. The mulled cider currently on offer was a particular favourite of ours – a warm mix of sweet ciders perfect for the festive season and with a kick of rum and brandy it’s certainly a winter warmer!
Stepping in from the street you immediately get a sense of rustic style; wood cladding and vintage style artwork adorns the walls as you make your way upstairs before entering into the restaurant where you see how rustic and urban combine for a rustic-sleek finish. Predominantly bench style seating fits in well with the Stable’s décor and fills the open plan dining space which gives a warm feel of being connected with other diners while retaining privacy.
Pizzas and pies are the main food staple at the Stable, using local produce as much as possible, with monthly specials and nightly deals including student night and ‘Tuck in Tuesday’ where you can get a selected pizza, side salad and a cider for £10. There is also a fairly comprehensive vegan menu in comparison to many other restaurants in the city.
Not being able to choose between pizza and pie, we naturally had to try both. We chose the monthly special pizza on suggestion of the manager, who’d not got it wrong in his suggestions so far; slow-cooked pulled bbq pork marinated in cider with caramelised onion and broccoli (£11.50). For me, pulled pork can often be rich and overpowering but I was pleasantly surprised when I tucked in and found an unexpected sweetness from the caramelised onion to really lighten the flavour. A really impactful flavour that has good substance to make it light yet filling without the guilt that you get from devouring a takeaway style pizza. Every pizza is served with your own pizza wheel cutter too to make life that much easier.
Although the pizzas are the main event on the menu, the pies are still very popular. We had to choose the Lamb Bam Boogie almost on the name alone – a filling of lamb, rosemary, garlic potato and honey and served with herb roasted potatoes, pickled onion and tomato chutney (£9.50). With huge chunks of meat and delicious pastry, the flavour was divine. Manager Matt told me how the restaurant really prides themselves on their unique flavour combinations, and it’s clear they know how to get it right – particularly the pairing of sweet and savoury.
For dessert we settled on the warm chocolate brownie with clotted cream and the homemade apple and blackberry crumble pie, again with clotted cream (both £5.50). The brownie was highly indulgent, starting out with a rich chocolate taste that somehow never overpowers you to the point of it being sickly. The crumble was a warming delight and paired well with the mulled cider.
Could I see the Stable as a new favourite place to dine in Exeter – let’s just say I’ve already booked my table ready for round two.
Words & photos: Jake Tucker
Visit The Stable online at: www.stablepizza.com