Chez Dominique - Bath
Say bonjour to Chez Dominique; a smart, family-run French restaurant that has just moved into Argyle Street. Sandwiched between the famous Pulteney Bridge and iconic Great Pulteney Street, this corner of Bath is a favourite haunt of mine. There are a small host of restaurants and shops that fill these quarters, and the street is just a stone's throw from the River Avon. Excited to see for ourselves what Chez Dominique has to offer Bathonians and visitors to the city, Scott and I recently decided to test the 'Prix Fixe' menu on offer.
Its founders, Chris and Sarah, who originate from Cambridge, saw similarities between Bath and their hometown, and thus decided that this "beautiful, cosmopolitan city" would be the perfect place to launch a family business. Their menu has a focus on modern French cooking served in a space that has been enlivened with industrial, retro style black pendant chandeliers, and, a colourful book display tucked in a corner.
The setting is quite intimate; wooden tables cosy up next to one another. There is one slightly more secluded spot by the front entrance, and a private dining room to the rear of the restaurant, with views overlooking Pulteney Weir. Keen to grab as much natural daylight for my photos as possible, we sat looking out onto Argyle Street.
Admittedly, we felt quite on show. Literally sat in the bay window, passers by can't help but peer in at your next forkful!
However, as we were too busy taking photos of our food, we soon forgot about that. A chilled glass of viognier and a complimentary helping of bread and butter to share.
Excited by the 'Prix Fixe' menu, we both opted for a starter and a main; costing a very reasonable sum of just £13 per person (or, £16 for 3 courses pp). Available 12-3pm and 5:30-6:30pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays. I started with a heartwarming 'Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Lovage Oil.'
Silky smooth, creamy, no-fuss yet flavourful food. Like a hug in a bowl which was just what I needed on that chilly autumnal day.
A modest bowl of 'Cornish Mussels, Cider and Ventreche Bacon' for Scott. The winning combination of plump, orange mussels and lean bacon pieces, nestling over a clear salty broth.
Look away now if you're squeamish! I had a spoonful of the broth and found it a touch too salty.
For our mains, I tried the 'Thyme Marinated Onglet Steak, Frites and Red Wine Sauce.' Delicious mouthfuls of tender, perfectly cooked steak, a leafy salad and golden, crispy fries.
Scott went for the 'Dorset Squid and Chorizo Risotto.' The colourful plate of creamy risotto and its surf and turf components were very tasty.
Chez Dominique certainly has that friendly, family-run vibe about it. The staff were extremely attentive, and although the atmosphere was not overly lively (there were only a handful of other tables occupied during our meal), it is early days yet. For a lovingly cooked, fresh and flavourful meal, in a low-key atmosphere, I wouldn't hesitate recommending Chez Dominique. A great spot in Bath to pass a lunch hour or two, (and enjoy people watching if you fancy the seats in the window!) or for a lovely evening meal with friends or family. Check them out over here, and pay them a visit soon, as I'm sure they'll be delighted to welcome you.