Well, technically the title should be 'Nuts About Purnell's Bistro,' but that's not quite as catchy.
Purnell's Bistro - and Ginger's Bar - is Birmingham-based chef Glynn Purnell's second city-centre eaterie. Barely a few minutes walk from his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant, the Bistro is a little more laid-back and a bit easier on the wallet, but no less impressive in quality. We'd been to Ginger's bar for drinks a couple of times but never eaten, so we were really looking forward to our Saturday lunch. After ordering a couple of very reasonably-priced cocktails we were shown to our seats.
Although there was a 3 courses for £20.00 prix fixe menu available we decided to swing for the a la carte option. Whilst more expensive it offered far more choice. We weren't disappointed.
My starter of lamb croquette on a bed of lentils was crunchy, earthy and delicious. Clare went for seared mackerel on a beetroot and goat's cheese tart, which looked equally impressive.
For our mains we swung for the ox-cheeks and duck respectively. My (well, the ox's) cheeks were tremendously rich and sumptuous. Our waiter challenged me to eat them without using a knife and the melting softness of the meat made this an easy task. Clare's duck was pink and springy with a lightly crisped skin and it was every bit as tasty as the cheeks. For a side I ordered the confit duck cabbage - pleasantly salty cabbage paired with shredded duck meat. Delicious.
The one slight blip in proceedings concerned the dessert. This wasn't down to the food however; my chocolate moelleux was missed off the order and arrived a few minutes late. It was worth the wait though, with rich, gooey chocolate sauce covered an a spongy crust and topped with almond ice-cream. To make up for the error we were given coffees on the house, which was a welcome but unnecessary gesture as we were happy enough with the food and service anyway.
Purnell's Bistro is every bit as impressive as his main restaurant. If you fancy top quality food at a very reasonable price then it's most definitely worth a visit.