david and i were on the isle of wight a couple of weeks ago and had a fabulous lunch at the little gloster, near cowes.
we hadn’t realised it was cowes week and so were slightly surprised when we were told the restaurant was fully booked on a wednesday lunchtime. however the picnic bench they provided, with a sheep skin to put on the bench as extra padding was lovely as it meant we could sit out look over the solent as a storm brewed.
the menu is inspired by a desire to create seasonal british food with scandanavian influences – head chef ben cooke has danish roots. there are lots of lovely sounding dishes and i will definitely return when we are next local, but this time we had to keep it light as we had dinner plans.
david chose the chicken caesar burger with fries. this was, i think, the best chicken burger i have ever had. not that it was a burger - it was a piece of chicken, probably marinated in something like buttermilk, which seemed to have a light coating of a very delicious parmesan batter, whose flavours were reinforced by the caeser dressing which, along with some lettuce helped it fill a slightly crisp (scandinavian of some sort?) roll. perfect chips too, not that i was allowed many.
i had two starters - crab and crayfish cakes which had a wonderful flavour and texture as the pieces of white crab and crayfish were left large and then bound with the brown crab meat which was seasoned with delicious asian flavourings (chilli, lemongrass etc). the dipping sauce and salad dressing was also asian in flavour. my second starter was buffalo mozzarella (wonderfully creamy and flavoursome) with vine tomatoes (some fresh, some roasted & marinated) and rocket salad with chilli, mint & garlic oil. both of these are dishes i would love to recreate at home.
sadly, that was all we had time for but, as i mentioned above, i really look forward to returning. and if you need a place to stay while you’re on the island the b&b rooms which accompany the restaurant look lovely.
the little gloster
31 marsh road, isle of wight po318jq
t - 01983 298776
w – www.thelittlegloster.com