Before its departure P and I had enjoyed some lovely evenings at The Hummingbird in Chapel Allerton so when I was kindly invited down by The Woods (who now reside in The Hummingbird building) to try their restaurant I knew they had some big boots to fill. The building itself is as stunning as ever; huge outside dining area with a wonderfully light and airy interior thanks to its glass front. The décor has been redone and it has a kind of Scandinavian feel to it.
To start with we ordered a selection of bar snack boards to share. We went for the Wild Meats Board (£3.90), the Mini Cheese Board (£2.90) and the Chicken Lollies (£2.90). All of the dishes had a nice flavour to them especially the suckling pig on the Wild Meat Board however the rabbit and the venison on the same board were a tad overcooked meaning they had become a bit chewy. The cheese and the lollies were pleasant however we both felt that charging a pound or two more and investing in some really fantastic ingredients would make the dishes stand out as something special.
For my main course I ordered the small size Prosciutto, Artichoke, Olive, Mozzarella and Basil Pizza (£4.50) and a Seasonal Leaf Salad (£2.50). It was a nice combination of toppings but the base was slightly underdone and a bit doughy. I really like that you can order the pizzas in a smaller size, perfect if you’re not looking to eat too heavily (totally unusual behaviour for me). The salad was a nice accompaniment, especially on such a hot evening when you need something refreshing and light but could have been livened up with some more unusual ingredients.
P went for the Spicy Salami, Pepperoni and Ham Calzone (£8.50). When it arrived it looked the part, a huge slab of calzone with a tasty tomato and basil sauce for dipping. Sadly though the inside was not at all spicy and covered with an overwhelming amount of cheese which P found way too stodgy. Parts of the dough (similar to my pizza) were undercooked however the parts that were okay had a good flavour.
To finish we shared the Mixed Sharing Dessert Platter (£6.50) which included chocolate brownie, lemon meringue pie and cheesecake; they came served on a wooden board (lots of things are served on wooden boards here) and were just the right size for two people to share after a big meal. The best on the platter was definitely the brownie, it had a rich and intense chocolatey flavour. I really enjoyed the lemon meringue pie, I have been known to eat lemon curd from the jar (…often) so this was always going to go down well with me. It also had the most fantastic tart berry coulis served with it. The cheesecake was less good though. It had an odd taste and texture that we couldn’t figure out.
After our meal we were invited to have a look around the top floor and after emerging from a staircase behind a curtain we were greeted by a big open space with a decked balcony area, stage and bar. The Woods have really turned this top floor into a destination. We decided to have another drink and sit down for the blues guitarist (Angelo Palladino) that was just taking the stage and we were glad we did, he was fantastic and a really clever choice to match the vibe of the top floor.
Although not all the food was brilliant that’s not to say with time and a little fine tuning the restaurant won’t become a great addition to the Chapel Allerton scene. The bar is sure to be, and with the amount of events going on, from music nights to film screenings I’m sure I’ll find myself back in The Woods sooner rather than later.
This meal was complimentary, views are my own though.