Two of Bristol’s newest restaurants have launched with a bang. Both COR in Bedminster and Casa in the City Centre opened late last year but grabbed our attention instantly. And it appears we’re not the only ones to take notice, as both featured on SqaureMeal’s UK Top 100 restaurants for 2023.
SqaureMeal’s UK Top 100 is unique in that it excludes London restaurants, shining its light on the rest of the UK’s exciting dining scene. Casa, which finished 29th, is Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ reinvention of his old Michelin-starred restaurant, Casamia and was noted for its “innovative spin on Italian classics. Highlights include puffs of fried semolina filled with Parmesan cream, Crudo blue belly prawns and a bowl of mussels in ‘nduja cream.
Meanwhile, the unassuming COR (69) – known for its vibrant, Mediterranean dishes – was highlighted for its neighbourhood restaurant vibe. Somewhere you can come “to enjoy a glass of wine and charcuterie as you would a multi-course feast.” Menu highlights included creamy burrata and crispy capers, barbecued cuttlefish with Calabrian ‘nduja, and a mushroom canele.
The three other Bristol restaurants were Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ other restaurant Paco Tapas (8). The Michelin-starred tapas restaurant “keeps plates authentic, but it’s the quality and precision of the cooking that astounds.” While Wilsons (64), the green-fingered, farm-to-table restaurant, offers plates “bursting with the flavours of the season.” Lastly, Bulrush (74) was noted for its “intelligent, interesting food, with an emphasis on proper cooking and great produce over unnecessary frills.”
Which other local restaurants made SquareMeal’s UK Top 100?
The big winner, or loser depending on how you perceive it, was Osip in Bruton, Somerset. It came in second, but as last year’s winner will feel unfortunate to miss out on the crown again. This accolade went to Grace & Savour in Solihull near Birmingham.
Elsewhere, the Upstairs at Landrace (34) and Olive Tree (62) in Bath made the list. As did The Old Butchers (82) and The Slaughters Manor House (98) in Gloucestershire. Finally, Holm (11) in Somerset just missed out on cracking the Top 10. To see the complete SquareMeal’s UK Top 100 head here.