The launch of The Gallery
We were invited along to the opening night of the much anticipated ‘The Gallery’ in Southsea. This venue is home to Mum’s pilates and keep fit classes and part of the CourtX group who also have Cafe Fresco just a stone’s throw away next to Canoe Lake. Running the two eateries are the same people as Bistro Montparnasse, which was once in Palmerston Road. We enjoyed Bistro Montparnasse and I regularly visit Cafe Fresco with my friends and their babies for coffee.
The Gallery has been on our radar for some time. We knew these guys were planning on opening a restaurant but we weren’t quite sure whether that would be a series of pop-ups or something more permanent. It was all kept quietly under wraps.
It’s a small little world we live in and it turns out our friend Will, who we met through Norman and Iris from Grate Catering, is the head chef at The Gallery. We’ve only met Will once (now twice) but it was clear from the offset that he has a huge passion for food and cooking.
Inside The Gallery
Although small, The Gallery is nice and open. It’s situated on the top floor of the building next to the tennis courts. Its interior is extremely contemporary with white walls and furniture and an unusual white wave across the ceiling. There was a cute felt stem of greenery in a small glass vase with some stones, it matched the rest of the table setting which was sleek and modern. We were seated, with Iris and Norman, by a friendly young waiter.
The menu at The Gallery consists of small plates with a slightly Spanish influence. The wine list offered a good choice and we ordered a bottle of the Tempranillo and the Pinto Noir – both extremely nice indeed.
First to arrive was the focaccia, olive oil, balsamic plus marinated olives. What a great first impression, the focaccia was incredibly fresh and well baked and we’d even go as far as saying the olives were as good as we get in Spain. We were excited to try more.
Up next was a selection of tapas; tortilla; manchego curado and membrillo paste; chorizo poached in cider and honey and Iberian ham croquettes with black pepper mayo. I enjoyed all the tapas, especially the croquettes which were packed full of flavour. The cheese and membrillo were notably of good quality.
We were invited to choose a meat, fish or vegetable dish plus a side to go with it. This was a hard choice for me, I like the sound of both the veggie dishes. Not quite a hard choice for Carlos though, he went straight for the bavette steak with chimichurri. These dishes are ‘main’ portions but slightly smaller than your average main and the idea is to share them. With us though, we sometimes enjoy different things so we stuck with our chosen plates.
My dish of griddled croquette, goats curd and pesto was extremely tasty and the courgette had a slightly smoke charcoaled taste which I loved. It really was bursting with flavour. The green goddess salad was fresh and light. On first appearance it looked like your typical side salad but once I tossed it around a bit I noticed the interesting minty dressing which gave it a great taste.
Carlos enjoyed his steak and crispy potatoes with aged comté and truffle oil. I nicked a couple too, I do love truffle! It was thumbs up around the table as everyone enjoyed their dish and we all had something different. It’s safe to say we left feeling comfortably full.
We would certainly return to The Gallery and I’m sure we will do soon. We hear there are supper clubs coming soon! The Gallery is open Friday – Saturday lunch (12:00-14:30) and dinner (18:30-21:00) and Sunday from midday to 3pm. Booking is advised.
Ambience – 8
Service – 9
Value – 8
Quality – 9
Overall – 9/10