I visited Puro under its previous name of Mon Plaisir about twenty three years ago and I have to be honest, I was in no hurry to return. If my memory serves me correctly, I enjoyed the food and the service was excellent but the décor was so dark and it felt so claustrophobic.
It could not be more different now – it is a lovely, light space offering informal, sophisticated dining. We had a fabulous evening there at the end of September – the food was delicious, it was beautifully presented and the service was outstanding, attentive but not overbearing. We will most certainly be returning.
The refurbished restaurant was opened in June 2017 by Dom and Alex Lamy; between them the couple have more than twenty five years’ experience in hospitality, with Dom having worked in the industry since he was sixteen.
Puro is tucked away, just off the very popular Hill Road, home to a large number of high quality, independent shops and businesses. It is named after the bottle of organic red wine Dom and his then fiancée Alex, shared on their first date a couple of years ago.
The Head Chef at Puro is Nick Fenlon and if you’d like to know more about Nick, check him out here https://bit.ly/33TX5P8 Nick was born and raised in Chew Valley, home of many of the West’s fabulous chefs and he and Dom worked together in Bristol at the Pump House.
Nick, Dom and the team create lovely seasonal menus which would be best described as modern British cuisine and always include shellfish and game. They are happy to adapt the food to suit any dietary requirements. At our visit to Puro, the food we had was bursting with flavour and freshness and the presentation was stunning.
We normally only have two courses when we eat out, and it is rare for us to have a dessert; having now seen the luscious desserts, I think that will change when we go again!
Aside from the seasonal à la carte and set menus, Dom produces a Festive à la carte menu which he has just published. Glad to see the Cornish mussels are still there – I had these in September and they were absolutely delicious – lovely plump specimens drenched in a sea of Somerset Cider.
I very much like the sound of the pan fried fillet of hake with artichoke velouté, rainbow chard, salsify and lemon puree – my taste buds are tingling already. Then again the Megrim sole with brown shrimps, seaweed butter potatoes and spring onion sounds lush. If you are like me, overwhelmed with the choice, there is also a five course tasting menu.
As you can see from the map below, the team pride themselves on using locally sourced suppliers and ingredients.
They also forage ingredients such as blackberries, elderberries, sea beets and rock samphire from the local area and the Clevedon coast. I loved learning that the wild rocket on their tomato salad on the Summer menu, was picked by Nick on his way to work.
Dom enjoys organising special events, the two most recent ones were a gin tasting evening with the team from 6 O’clock Gin which was accompanied by a five course tasting menu and an evening with The Balvenie distillery who showcased a selection of their whiskeys which Dom paired up with a smoked fish board.
Guest chefs are also to become a feature at Puro; the first chef of the Guest Chef restaurant take overs will be the extremely talented Bruce Rennie from The Shore Restaurant in Penzance. Bruce has captained the kitchens for some of the top chefs in the country, including Michelin starred Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, Michelin starred Shanks in Northern Ireland, Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein. This is sure to be a very popular event which I have on good authority is selling out very quickly.
Puro or to give it its full name, Puro Restaurant and Bar does also offer the opportunity for customers not wanting to eat, to enjoy a drink. At the time of the refurbishment….
‘The existing bar area wasn’t being used and wasn’t really a functioning part of the restaurant. We thought this area needed a lot of attention so we decided to move the bar and create a new one with added features. Now customers don’t just have to dine with us but they can also pop in for a glass of wine or a gin and tonic and just sit at the bar.’
Puro boasts an impressive drinks list with an extensive range of wines, a diverse range of spirits including some lovely, quirky gins and some very reasonably priced cocktails.
It’s always nice to see such hard work rewarded and aside from the feedback he gets from customers Dom has had some very public recognition in the form of a Taste of the West Gold Award.
He was also nominated for the Somerset Life Food and Drink Awards 2019 for best restaurant, alongside Michelin-recommended Menu Gordon Jones, in Bath, and a previous Somerset food and drinks winner, Duende Restaurant in Wiveliscombe near Taunton.
Added to this, after enjoying two-and-a-half years of five-star ratings on Trip Adviser, he has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence.
‘We are a very passionate business and have built a loyal following. We will be pushing forward for even more awards in the near future.‘
I think it’s also worth knowing that Puro is available for private hire, with a capacity of forty people for dining and up to sixty for drinks only.
All the best in the future to Dom, Alex and the team – may your well deserved success continue.