Stargazy Inn | Port Isaac (UK)

Keep this culinary level consistent and Andrew Sheridan’s creative mindset going,
and a Star must be gazing at this Cornish bayside inn!

The Stargazy Inn by the cliffs in the beautiful village of Port Isaac in Cornwall (UK). Stunning views over the bay to Tintagel from the terrace and also from inside if you happen to get the table at the front windows. The name Stargazy is taken from the Cornish dish Stargazy pie, a traditional fish pie where the heads of the fish poke up through the pastry, looking up at the stars. The popular TV series Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac and The Stargazy Inn featured in it as Wenn House.

Acquired by David Barnard in 2017 and recently closed for significant refurbishment, the nine-bedroom hotel, with bar and restaurant, reopened last April, just across the road from Restaurant Nathan Outlaw **. The Stargazy Inn has charming interiors and is refurbished to a high standard. The site on the Cornish coast contributes to a growing culinary scene in the area, together with their sister properties Port Gaverne Hotel and Pilchards café on the beach.

Head Chef Andrew Sheridan joined The Stargazy Inn with the relaunch, to take on the boutique site’s fine dining restaurant. Andrew joins from Sosban in south Wales, where he served as executive chef for two years. Before that Andrew worked alongside Michael Caines at Abode in Chester where he evolved from a junior role in the brasserie kitchen to sous chef in the fine dining restaurant. He was North West Chef of the Year (2011) and appeared on BBC Two’s Great British Menu in 2018 and in March this year, which got him the nickname the ‘maverick chef’ for his unusual and creative approach.

The Stargazy Inn is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The à la carte menu offers 3 Snacks (£5.50-£6), 3 Small Plates (£7.25-£10.95), 5 Large Plates (at £18-£38), 5 Desserts (at £7.95-£9) and a Cheese Board (at £14). They also offer a 7-course Tasting Menu (at £75) and a 4-course Great British Menu Tasting (at £85). There’s a separate Bar Menu and also a Little Star Menu for the younger guests.

We had dinner two weeks ago on a Saturday and had the Tasting Menu.

Chicken Skin, Parfait, Elderflower Jelly
Cheese and Onion Crisp

First to arrive were two appetisers. Chicken skin with chicken parfait and elderflower jelly (on the left). Potato crisp with cumin seeds, cream cheese and onion marmalade (on the right). Both nice and different. Particularly liked the potato crisp! Didn’t understand why it was served on a napkin though, didn’t seem right.

Beer Bread | Marmite Butter & Cultured Butter

Crunchy beer bread from local beer. Cultured butter with oil and sea salt. Marmite butter with celeriac crumbs on top. I don’t like marmite at all, but like this it works. Tasted like beef drippings. Again the bread served on a napkin. Still don’t get it. This is also served like a course and shows on the menu as such as well, which I wouldn’t do.

Cornish Mackerel | Tomato & Basil

Lightly smoked mackerel, high on seasoning, but great taste. Heritage tomatoes, basil sorbet and basil oil. Bright, fresh flavours to go with the oily mackerel. Great dish!

Sea Trout | Heritage Potatoes & Summer Truffle

Beautifully cooked sea trout, still pink and juicy. Love the gentle seaweed. Although wrapped all around the trout, it is still delicate in flavour. Potato crisp with summer truffle. Multi flavoured potato salad, with capers, red onion and fish eggs that popped in the mouth. Love it. Spring on a plate!

Loin of Lamb and Belly | Onions, Camelford Wild Garlic

Tender lamb loin and crispy lamb belly. Sweet onion marmalade and little dots of cream cheese went perfect with the lamb. The wild garlic just turned into a jam, was just a treat. And a deliciously dark sauce with garlic oil to round it all off. A great tribute to the lamb!

Selection of Cornish Cheese (£14)

We had the optional cheeseboard. Although just calling it a cheeseboard doesn’t cover it! It’s on the menu as Selection of Cornish Cheese. What a treat! Never had it served like this. Each cheese with its own complements. Starting at the top from left to right: 1. Bay Layty – oat cracker, elderflower jelly 2. Nanny Muffet – Coombeshead farm sourdough bread, lemon curd 3. Celtic Gold – Coombeshead farm sourdough bread, onion marmalade 4. Havod Blue – fennel cracker, apple puree 5. Wild Garlic Yang – focaccia, honeycomb, We had one cheeseboard to share and it was still (almost) too much.

Wood Sorrel | Raspberry & Yoghurt

Wood sorrel ice cream with yoghurt and raspberry sauce. Creamy with freshness works well together! Like the sorrel ice cream, unusual but very nice. Lovely and light dessert.

Banana Rice Pudding | Salted Peanuts, Hay Ice Cream

On the menu as the Great British Menu Banana Rice Pudding as this is the dessert that scored Head Chef Andrew Sheridan 10 points out of 10 in this year’s contest. Set rice pudding with almond praline on top, grated banana on hay ice cream, banana cream topped with a crispy dehydrated milk skin. High level of comforting going on in this dish. Love the flavours, textures and taste. The dried milk skin is a bit weird. But the whole dish just works. 10 points from me as well!

Service was pleasant and at a nice pace as well. With only 7 tables in the restaurant, the staff plays a huge part in setting the atmosphere and they did a great job. It almost felt like having dinner at someones home, which made it kind of special and certainly added to the overall experience.

The food was just great. Andrew Sheridan’s passion for cooking and love of using local, high quality, produce is very evident in the dishes we had. The fish dishes were outstanding and can compete with the dishes we had the day before at the other side of the road.
To be fair, we had a better overall experience at The Stargazy Inn than at Nathan Outlaw. And that at less than half the price….

Keep this culinary level consistent and Andrew Sheridan’s creative mindset going, and a Star must be gazing at this Cornish bayside inn!

Restaurant Stargazy Inn
The Terrace
Port Isaac, Cornwall
PL29 3SG
T +44 (0)1208 811516

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