Both gourmets and gourmands can find straight three-course dining fraught with anxiety: which dish to choose? What if I make the wrong call? Will he let me share if his is better? Blimmin heck…
Not so with tapas, of course. Can’t decide between meatballs or slow roast lamb? Have ‘em both. Fancy the dish on the other side of the table? Reach over and grab a forkful. There’s still the “Who gets the last prawn?” tension, but delicate negotiation (or quick fork action) sorts that out. Lilico’s in Barnstaple is a great place to enjoy this easy-going dining style.
Owners Chris and Wanda have made this the best bar-bistro in Barnstaple, with a laid-back feel that attracts a grown up crowd. They come for the buzzy bar atmosphere, and the restaurant with its menu of more than 30 tapas plates.
Dishes are pretty authentic, like the king prawns with garlic butter, pimentos de padron and deep-fried calamari, and the skilled kitchen team makes sure that every one is destined to be negotiated (fought) over; the scallops are generously fat and perfectly cooked; slow-roast lamb is melting and sweet; and the chorizo is crisp and perfectly partnered with soft buttery beans.
Portions are generous, but dishes arrive a couple at a time to keep the momentum going through to the final forkful. Leave room for one of Wanda’s homemade puds if you can – though be prepared to share that too. There’s not a hope of keeping anything to yourself here.
Click on the following link to see chef Wanda Yeo’s recipe for
red snapper with yellow pepper and chorizo sauce.