The Cheltonian > Articles

Food delights at Montpellier Wine Bar

Robyn Morrison samples the delicious new menu at The Montpellier Wine Bar

Well-known for its welcoming staff, attentive service, innovative wine list and fresh, seasonal menus, The Montpellier Wine Bar is an institution which has, for many years, not only been the place to be seen, but also a great place to meet, talk, celebrate, laugh, eat and drink.

A firm favourite amongst Cheltenham residents, as well as famous faces and sports personalities, the dining menu is a shining model of how to create mouth-watering dishes with inventive ingredient combinations, perfect for foodies. The spicy crab cakes with lime aioli starter is a fine example of this. Presented with a beetroot garnish, the golden-brown cakes filled with succulent crab meat combine perfectly with the zingy aioli, which is a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks. For £6.50, the crab cakes are the most expensive starter on the reasonably-priced menu, but worth every penny. For those with larger appetites, the blue cheese rarebit, served on a rustic wooden board, is a generous portion served on homemade very tasty bread.

The choice of hefty mains, lighter meals and salads spoil for choice but highly recommended are the salmon fishcakes and fillet steak. In a twist on the old recipe, the salmon fishcakes are presented as a colourful tower drizzled with herb oil on a bed of rocket, and topped with sugar-snap peas. The new recipe is light and fresh, and enables the true flavours of the fish to shine through, rather than lost beneath a heavily bread crumbed shell.

Nothing exasperates more when asked how steak is cooked, if it is not then delivered by the chef. However, the local, 28-day matured fillet steak was cooked to perfection, medium-rare as I had asked, and with the crispiest hand-cut chips to top it off. Guests are certain to be impressed with the mouth-watering food and wine, now being served at
‘THE wine bar’ in the heart of Montpellier.

The Montpellier Wine Bar, Bayshill Lodge, Montpellier Street, Cheltenham GL50 1SY. Tel: 01242 527774;